East Africa countries facing major climate funding gap, report says

Wednesday September 06 2023

Women from Kenya’s pastoral Turkana community wait under a makeshift shed with their children at a drought-intervention community outreach clinic organised by Unicef at Nadoto village on October 18, 2022. PHOTO | AFP


East African countries, particularly Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia, face a significant funding gap after wealthy nations pledged a paltry Ksh350 billion ($2.4 billion) to climate-related development finance in 2021, a new report shows.

The report, released by Oxfam on Monday, shows that the four countries need a staggering Ksh7.7 trillion ($52.7 billion) to effectively address their climate challenges.

The report also highlights the alarming disparity between the financial support pledged by major polluting nations and the urgent humanitarian needs of the East African countries to recover from their climate-fuelled hunger crisis.

Read: Why EA must look inward to address food insecurity

Speaking at the launch of the report, Oxfam Director Fati N’Zi-Hassane said that with current financial support falling far short of what is needed, East Africa faces an uphill task in achieving its climate resilience and sustainability goals.

“Even by their own generous accounts, polluting nations have provided a pittance to help East Africa scale up its mitigation and adaptation efforts. Nearly half (45 percent) of the funds they have provided have been loans, plunging the region further into debt,” she said.


According to the report, more than 31 million people in the four countries are suffering from severe hunger as a result of two years of drought and years of flooding, exacerbated by displacement and conflict. Despite soaring humanitarian needs, rich nations have only met about a third of the UN’s appeal for East Africa this year.

“At the heart of East Africa’s hunger crisis is a heinous climate injustice. Rich, polluting nations continue to game the system by ignoring the billions owed to East Africa, while millions of people face starvation from repeated climate shocks,” said Ms N’Zi-Hassane.

However, according to the report, the G7 countries and Russia have collectively contributed 85 percent of global emissions since 1850. Their emissions are a staggering 850 times more than the combined emissions of the four East African countries.

Read: G7 confronted with African demands

“Global financial institutions are also complicit in this climate-fuelled hunger crisis, dragging developing countries into a debt spiral that prevents them from fully recovering from successive shocks,” she said.