Guernsey’s Overseas Aid & Development Commission has continued to monitor growing disaster scenarios in poorer countries.
These awards follow the Commission recently awarding four Disaster and Emergency Relief Awards to help to alleviate the effects of monsoon floods in Pakistan,
floods and conflict in Yemen, and to assist Myanmar Refugees living on the border with India.
The Commission has now also agreed to make an Award of £50,000 to Plan International UK to help alleviate the impending famine in Somalia. The donation will help to provide water, food, hygiene / health supplies, and child protection to drought-affected areas.
The Commission has also made a £48,080 Award to the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) for food relief to South Sudan in the wake of floods.
Somalia is undergoing the worst drought in four decades. This is part of a wider crisis affecting East Africa, one that has only been exacerbated by Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports. Malnourishment was already widespread in the region, but unfolding drought threatens to leave millions of livestock dead and communities ripped apart as families migrate in search of good and grazing.
The total number of people affected is projected to be 7.1 million. Particularly affected are Toghdeer region in the north, and Bay in the south, which has already been suffering due to conflict. It is projected that in the crisis-affected zones, 54% of infants under 5 are malnourished and adolescent girls and young women face sexual and gender-based violence. Plan International will use the funds to help distribute food, particularly for lactating women and under 5s, as well as replenish wells, provide school feeding programs, and set up a community-based child protection group.
In contrast, South Sudan has again been hit by floods. Due to climate change 1 million people had already been displaced over the past 5 years. 500,000 people are now in need of emergency assistance following the fourth consecutive year of dangerous flooding. The crops of subsistence farmers have been submerged. 65% of the displaced population are children, who are especially vulnerable to malnourishment and its long-term effects.
The Commission’s Award alone will allow the Charity, HART, which has years of experience in the region, to deliver food supplies of sorghum and wheat, as well as non-food items such as mosquito nets and plastic sheets for shelter roofing, for 6,000 people.
Deputy Chris Blin, the President of the OA&DC, said: “We have received an unprecedented number of Disaster and Emergency Relief Award applications in the last few weeks and the Commission, on behalf of the Island, is responding as swiftly as it can to help. It has made six Awards within a month and many of these have at least been partially related to climate change which is a great concern.
“Fortunately, as we received fewer applications in the first six months of this year, all of the current Awards can be made from our existing budget. Somalia and South Sudan have both been dealing with decades of conflict and recurrent natural disasters, and yet it’s hard to understand the scale of various disasters hitting East Africa at present. So I’m very happy that we can support Plan International UK and the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, both of whom we have worked with before and have many years’ experience in the respective regions.”
Photo credit: Plan International