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USAID pledges Kenya $255 mln to fight drought, appeals to rich countries to help

USAID pledges Kenya $255 mln to fight drought, appeals to rich countries to help

USAID pledges Kenya $255 mln to fight drought, appeals to rich countries to help

USAID pledges Kenya $255 mln to fight drought, appeals to rich countries to help (credits:google)

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  • The funding commitment is in addition to the $65 million already provided by USAID this year.
  • 4.1 million people in Kenya are facing acute food shortages.
  • The government has spent 12.6 billion shillings ($106.28 million) so far to assist drought victims.
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NAIROBI, 22 JULY – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Friday that it would provide $255 million in emergency aid to Kenya to combat severe drought.

According to the government, 4.1 million people in the East African country are facing acute food shortages, while the number of cases of child malnutrition has increased by half in some areas to 942,000 in the last three months.

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The funding commitment is in addition to the $65 million already provided by USAID this year, according to USAID Administrator Samantha Power.

“We need other countries to step up and join us,” she said, warning that the food crisis could spread to other areas such as education because hungry children cannot attend school.

The government has spent 12.6 billion shillings ($106.28 million) so far to assist drought victims, but there is still a shortfall of more than 15 billion shillings, according to Margaret Kobia, the minister responsible for special programmes.

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According to Power, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted the global food supply chain, is exacerbating drought-related suffering in Kenya and the rest of the region.

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More than 50 million people are expected to face acute food insecurity this year in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda, according to a joint statement issued by the World Food Programme and other agencies on Friday.

The disaster was caused by a lack of rainfall in most parts of the region, which was exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis, which drove up wheat and maize prices.

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