The drought-hit Horn of Africa urgently needs an additional US$103 million to rebuild agriculture and fight famine, the United Nations’ food agency said, calling for a high-level meeting to help overcome the crisis.
At risk of starvation are about 3.6 million people in Somalia and 12 million people across the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia and Kenya, the United Nations says.
The U.N’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said it had asked for $161 million to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers across the Horn of Africa and had received or had commitments for around $57 million, Reuters reports.
“FAO’s current funding gap stands at around $103 million to provide immediate support to crisis-affected populations,” the Rome-based FAO said on Tuesday.
Of the funds being sought, $70 million is earmarked for Somalia for distribution of seeds and other inputs, provision of animal feed, livestock vaccination and treatment, cash-for-work schemes and infrastructure improvement, the agency said.
FAO has invited agriculture ministers from its 191 member countries for a meeting on Aug. 18 to agree on urgent measures to fight the worsening crisis.
“When you see the sheer numbers of animal dead bodies along the road, you know that this means that people have less capacity to buy their food today and tomorrow,” Cristina Amaral, chief of operations in FAO’s Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division, said in a statement.
“FAO is concerned that support to incomes and safeguarding people’s assets has so far been largely overlooked, and this will make recovery slower,” Amaral said.
The meeting will focus on a twin-track approach to resolving the famine in Somalia and the broader emergency in the Horn of Africa, building resilience over the long haul and supporting livelihoods over the short, medium and long term.
Under a separate initiative, the United States said on Monday it would give an additional $105 million in humanitarian aid for the Horn of Africa to provide urgently needed food, health, shelter, water and sanitation aid.