East African Drought: World Bank provides Kenya with $407mln

(Alshahid)-The World Bank will provide $407 million to help Kenya respond to a drought that has left millions in the country hungry, it announced on Tuesday.

It said a Bank Drought Response Mission led by Nathan Belete, sector leader in the Bank’s Sustainable Development Network, has concluded an extensive drought needs assessment in Kenya and agreed with the government on providing medium to long term support to help restore the livelihoods of the 3.5 million Kenyans severely affected by the drought.

“We heard consistent messages from both the government and development partners that there are many agencies involved in humanitarian response and that the bank should focus its intervention on medium to long term programs for recovery and resilience,” Belete said.

The money will be used to supplement existing projects in agriculture, health and water and sanitation and to scale up medium-term to long-term interventions in energy and water resources management.

“Natural disasters will continue to recur. Our effort aims to support the government and the Kenyan people to manage their resources better, to improve food security and cope with climate change.” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya and Somalia.

The additional funding will be used to diversify pastoralists’ livelihoods, provide seeds to farmers, treat malnutrition, drill and repair boreholes and provide cash transfers to orphans and vulnerable children.

On Friday, the United Nations said that more than $1.4 billion are still required to reach the $2.4 billion mark, which is required to feed more than 12.5 million people starving in the region. Tens of thousands of people have already died of hunger and medical aid in the Horn of Africa during the present food crisis.

Many African nations and donors have pledged about $351.7 million for the drought-struck Horn of Africa. According to the United Nations, a number of regions in Somalia are badly struck by the drought and famine, which has caused widespread hunger in Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya.


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