The United States will send more than $200 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Horn of Africa. The region has been wracked by conflict and is suffering the worst drought in 40 years. More than 20 million people are projected to need emergency food assistance across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.
The additional U.S. assistance, announced at the recent High-Level Roundtable for the Horn of Africa Drought in Geneva, will be sent through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of State. It will address the needs of refugees, internally displaced persons, and conflict-affected populations who are dependent on agriculture and livestock.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted that the drought across the Horn of Africa comes on top of conflict in Somalia and Ethiopia; two years of pandemic-related socioeconomic stress; and a prolonged desert locust crisis. The war in Ukraine has also contributed to the food shortages by driving up the prices of basic foods, fuel, and fertilizers. “We must all step up and show the people of this region that we are here to help alleviate their suffering and that there is no place for famine in the twenty-first century,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths.
The United States is the largest single-country donor of humanitarian aid in the Horn of Africa. With the additional $200 million, the United States has provided more than $361 million in humanitarian assistance in the region since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022. According to USAID, the money will be used to support United Nations and non-governmental organization partners, and will help provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, care and medical supplies, access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene support, and livelihood support to diversify household income sources and help keep livestock healthy.
In a statement announcing the additional assistance, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price noted the worsening humanitarian crisis in the region. “Immediate, full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations and workers is essential to provide timely, need-based assistance to those affected by the drought and the ongoing conflict and to save lives,” he declared. “We welcome the contributions of other donors toward this crisis response and urge others to generously support the immediate humanitarian needs created and exacerbated by this historic drought.”