Ireland provides 2.5 million euros for Horn of Africa

Published on 22 February 2006

As the drought affecting the Horn of Africa intensifies,WFP has warmly welcomed a contribution from Ireland of 2.5 million euros, nearly US$3 million, for WFP’s operations in the drought-hit Horn of Africa, where 6.25 million people are running out of food because of the failure of the last rains.

As the drought affecting the Horn of Africa intensifies,WFP has warmly welcomed a contribution from Ireland of 2.5 million euros, nearly US$3 million, for WFP’s operations in the drought-hit Horn of Africa, where 6.25 million people are running out of food because of the failure of the last rains.

Pastoralists living in southern Somalia, like their brethren in northern and northeastern Kenya, are watching their herds of cattle die, and with them their means of survival

WFP Somalia Country Director Zlatan Milisic

From the donation, 1.2 million euros will go to WFP’s operations in Kenya where a total of 3.5 million lives are at risk.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Government of Ireland for their generous cash contribution which comes at a critical time, when many are living on the edge," said WFP Kenya Country Director Tesema Negash.

"The donation will enable WFP to cover the associated costs of moving food contributions by the Government of Kenya,” he said.

Sharp increase

According to a comprehensive Short-Rains Food Security Assessment in January conducted by the Government of Kenya, WFP, and other UN and non-governmental agencies, some 395,000 metric tons of food aid, valued at US$225 million, will be required over the next year to assist the 3.5 million Kenyans, including 500,000 school children -- nearly tripling the number Kenyans in need of emergency food assistance.

An additional 1 million euros will help WFP feed one million people in southern Somalia who are affected by the regional drought.

“Pastoralists living in southern Somalia, like their brethren in northern and northeastern Kenya, are watching their herds of cattle die, and with them their means of survival,” said WFP Somalia Country Director Zlatan Milisic.

“Thanks to the generosity of Ireland, we will be able to respond even more quickly to ensure that those in need are reached.”

Repeated droughts

The remaining 300,000 euros will enable WFP’s operations in Djibouti to continue to feed nearly 50,000 pastoralists who are facing repeated seasons of drought.

Many nomadic pastoralists in the wide-sweeping Horn of Africa region are facing a fifth consecutive season of failed or poor rains, and rates of global acute malnutrition among children under five are unacceptably high in drought-hit regions of Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and the Somali region and Borena district of Borena zone of Oromiya in Ethiopia.