Conflict, climate change and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have all impacted on food security in Ethiopia and Somalia.
Whilst people in Scotland are fretting over two days with an Amber extreme heat warning, the Horn of Africa region is experiencing its driest conditions in 40 years.
The Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF), is contributing £250,000 to two charities working to alleviate the appalling situation for the people of the area.
Half is going to Christian Aid for their work in Ethiopia, including providing children and pregnant and breastfeeding women with supplementary nutrition.
Head of Christian Aid Scotland Sally Foster-Fulton said:
“A prolonged drought and four failed rainy seasons means – yet again – crops cannot grow and this is having a devastating impact on the people of Ethiopia – in addition to the challenges of conflict, COVID-19 and rising food costs.
“Children and women are impacted the most, and many children are showing signs of malnourishment. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for supporting our work in South Omo, southern Ethiopia, where we will ensure the most vulnerable receive money to buy the food they need to survive.”
Islamic Relief is receiving the remaining funding for their project in Somalia, which is delivering emergency assistance for victims of the drought, as well as improving water access and hygiene in four Internally Displaced People camps in Beledweyne District, near the Ethiopian border.
Nadeem Baqir, Scotland Regional Manager for Islamic Relief UK, said:
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s support for our work in Somalia which comes at a critical time and will help us to ensure more families get the food and hygiene kits they need.
“Somalia has been hit by failed rains for the fourth year in a row resulting in yet another devastating drought. This has exacerbated the growing hunger crisis alongside the impacts of COVID-19 and the increasing costs of food.
“Across the country, millions of people are in dire need of food assistance and clean water to ensure their survival. Families who have been displaced and are now living in camps do not have enough to eat and in some cases are having to share the little they receive as there just isn’t enough for everyone.”
Scotland’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF) was established by the Scottish Government in 2017.
The Scottish Government’s International Development Minister Neil Gray said:
“The drought being experienced in the Horn of Africa is creating a desperate situation for people in the region that is being made worse by grain supply disruption caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
“We know that millions of people are facing historic drought conditions and a lack of essential food supplies and we stand ready to act in the face of such a pressing emergency.
“The Scottish Government is committed to fulfilling its role as a responsible and compassionate global citizen and this aid from our Humanitarian Emergency Fund will provide essential help to those in desperate need.”