The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Monday appealed for 2.69 billion U.S. dollars in funding to save millions of people at risk of starvation in Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia due to drought.
The situation continues to worsen, with 47 million people being highly food insecure and some at risk of dying of starvation, IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu said.
“Some 70 percent of these 47 million people live in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia,” he said in a statement released in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. “This is why, today, we solemnly call on the international community to help us prevent a major humanitarian disaster by committing requisite resources to save lives and livelihoods in the short term, and continue investing in resilience building in the medium and long term.”
According to the bloc, Somalia needs 1.6 billion dollars to provide food and non-food items to the drought-affected communities and the internally displaced people; Ethiopia needs 710 million dollars to provide support to key sectoral needs in the coming four months; Kenya requires 378 million dollars to provide food, water, and vaccination to the affected counties until October.
IGAD said the drought has led to terrible consequences, including severe water and pasture shortages, a million displaced people and over 10 million livestock and wildlife deaths, and reduced crop and livestock production, all of which are increasing food insecurity.
Gebeyehu said recovery will require resources and time, and the institution is working to prevent future disasters from having such severe impacts.