The African Development Fund, a subsidiary of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved a $5.4 million grant to support food security programmes in Somalia.
AfDB’s East Africa Regional Director General Ms Nnenna Nwabufo said the money would help address the impact of the prolonged drought and the added impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict have deepened food insecurity in the Horn of Africa country.
“The grant constitutes additional financing to the multinational Programme to build resilience for Food and Nutrition Security,” Nwabufo said, adding that it will specifically deploy certified quality seeds of climate-adapted fodder varieties and enable the establishment of fodder banks in the six regional states of the country.
“Over the years, droughts have been increasing in severity and frequency in Somalia, creating conditions of chronic vulnerability with persistent food insecurity, widespread economic hardships, conflicts, and migration, hitting the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities hardest.”
The money adds to Monday’s announcement by Samantha Power, the US Agency for International Development (USAid) Administrator, that the agency will provide another $1.3 billion in additional critical humanitarian and development assistance to help stave off mass starvation and deaths.
“It is reaction to an unprecedented drought in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia—part of a region known as the Horn of Africa—is pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation,” her statement underlined.
“More than 18 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, primarily as a result of the drought,” she added.
According to a joint report by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization, Somalia could have as many as 300,000 people facing starvation this year in Somalia and South Sudan, due to drought and conflict. And the report published on Friday says at least 51 million people in the Horn of Africa will be food insecure in 2022.
In Somalia, 7.1 million people, nearly half of the total population in Somalia, are facing historical levels of drought with the likelihood of advancing into a deadly famine.
The calamity has been caused by successive failures of three years of rainy seasons in parts of the Horn of Africa region.