The Horn of Africa is currently experiencing one of the most severe droughts in recent memory rendering over 20 million people highly food insecure.
Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA), Jersey’s official, publicly-funded relief and development agency, has committed £375,000 to three humanitarian partners who are providing assistance to those impacted by what is the worst drought seen in the region for almost 40 years.
Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey, said: “A fifth consecutive failed rainy season is significantly impacting livelihoods leading to acute food insecurity and a sharp rise in malnutrition, including 6.5million children who are severely malnourished.
“Jersey funds will enhance ongoing humanitarian interventions and provide a lifeline to thousands who are at the forefront of this crisis, the scale of which has not been seen in decades.”
The desperate situation in the Horn of Africa has been compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – both countries being major sources of wheat for the drought-affected countries. The disruption to food supply chains and sharp increase in food and fuel prices has placed millions in danger of not having access to enough food. Furthermore, the region has been beset by multiple humanitarian shocks in the last few years including conflict, mass displacement, COVID-19, locust infestations and extreme weather events.
Jersey is providing £200,000 to Care International targeting Dadaab refugee host communities in the Garissa hinterlands, Kenya. Funds will address the needs of approximately 36,000 people with cash transfers, the rehabilitation of key water systems, distribution of therapeutic supplements to combat malnutrition and the distribution of menstrual hygiene kits.
Care International’s Assistant Country Director- Program, Mwende Kusewa, said: “This is a crucial time for Kenya. They have endured four consecutive failed harvests, with predictions that unless immediate action is taken, a fifth will follow.
“With support from Jersey Overseas Aid, this project will respond to the immediate humanitarian need, providing families with food and essential services, and strengthen community resilience to drought, providing clean water and helping farmers adapt to the changing weather to improve crop production.”
An allocation of £87,500 to the British Red Cross will aid Kenya’s National Society in improving access to food and nutrition through cash and voucher assistance, health and nutrition screening and outreach to support basic health services.
A further equal pledge to UNICEF will contribute toward the organisation’s Humanitarian Action for Children Appeal in Somalia. The response focuses on five priority areas and includes the distribution of treatments to children facing severe acute malnutrition, ongoing health interventions, access to safe drinking water, mental and psychosocial support, and provision of essential educational services.
The latest humanitarian grants add to a long list of emergencies that Jersey has responded to in 2022. Thanks to the generous support of the Government, JOA has supported interventions in multiple humanitarian crises around the globe addressing the needs of those whose lives have been shattered through protracted armed conflict and natural disasters. JOA funds have supported lifesaving interventions in, among others, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Syria, Ukraine and Pakistan.
Pictured: Ladies collecting water in Dadaab, Kenya – credit: Care International