NAIROBI, Aug. 8, (Xinhua/GNA) - The European Commission says it's mobilizing a further 5.6 billion shillings (56 million U.S. dollars) in emergency humanitarian funding to help the people hit by drought in the East Africa nations.
The EU said funding from the aid package will support drought-affected communities in Somalia (US$28 million), Ethiopia (US$22.46 million), Kenya (US$3.37 million) and Uganda (US$2.24 million).
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the EU is stepping up its support for the people affected by a prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa.
"During my several visits to countries in the region, I have seen first-hand how much climate extremes are affecting this part of Africa. Our funding will help extend humanitarian assistance in the affected areas, helping communities ward off the risk of famine," said Stylianides.
According to the EU, the prolonged drought is having devastating consequences on food availability and livelihoods with many in the region relying on livestock herding and subsistence farming. The EU said the funds will go towards emergency food assistance and assistance to address immediate food needs; the provision of basic health services and the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children under five years of age, and in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers; improving water access for both human and livestock consumption; and protecting households' livelihoods.
Stylianides said the EU aid will contribute to assisting humanitarian agencies in the region to pre-emptively scale up their actions in the hardest hit areas.
"A spell of drought, following two poor rain seasons in a row, has put almost 13 million people in need of emergency food assistance across the region," said the EU.
It said more than four million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished, in addition to around three million malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women.