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Concern Worldwide (UK) Executive Director gives statement in response to announcement of funds pledged at today’s Horn of Africa Conference
Today, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the Governments of the United Kingdom, Italy, Qatar and the United States, in collaboration with the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, convened a High-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in the Horn of Africa.
Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom announced £143 million to East Africa for the 2023-24 financial year in a pre-recorded video message.
In response to this announcement, Danny Harvey, Executive Director of Concern Worldwide (UK) said:
“The pledges at today’s conference are welcome, at a time when East Africa is dealing with the impact of one of its worst droughts in recent history. However, over 28 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan face acute hunger. This is almost double the number of people who experienced acute hunger during the drought in 2017, yet the funding commitment falls short of what was pledged at that time.
“Following an unprecedented fifth failed rainy season, rains have started in some areas and the long-awaited September rains may start to restore food security. However, it will be some time before the impact of rain will be felt on crops, and for livestock and it will take years to recover from disaster on this scale. Over the next six months, it is critical that urgent humanitarian assistance is provided to save lives and support recovery. The pledged funds need to be released swiftly, and through channels that reach affected communities, in order to save lives and prevent this tragedy from worsening.
“It was good to see a UK commitment to long-term solutions and a focus on boosting climate resilience. We know the importance of investing in preparing for future crises and supporting resilience building programmes. This includes investing in climate change adaptation, addressing underlying drivers of conflict, and the delivery of commitments made on anticipatory action. Vital also is ensuring that responses take into account the gendered impacts of hunger and malnutrition.”
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