Singapore Red Cross sends aid to East African drought victims

Farm workers in the Rooibos tea Skimmelberg farm pack Rooibos tea leaves on Feb 27, 2017. They are in the Clanwilliam district which is heavily affected by drought.
Farm workers in the Rooibos tea Skimmelberg farm pack Rooibos tea leaves on Feb 27, 2017. They are in the Clanwilliam district which is heavily affected by drought.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has contributed $85,000 in relief to Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia in response to the severe drought that has been plaguing countries of the Horn of Africa.

The sum was handed over to local partners - Kenyan Red Cross, Ethiopian Red Crescent and the Somali Red Crescent - who will then channel it towards supporting food security and livelihood initiatives, and procuring food and hygiene supplies for the millions affected.

"Droughts in the Horn of Africa have been increasing in severity and frequency, and aggravated by desertification, land degradation and climate change. From all the reports, conditions are worrying across southern and southeastern Ethiopia, northern and coastal Kenya and almost all of Somalia.

"Our Red Cross partners are looking to help an estimated 1.45 million people in these countries, through their relief efforts," said Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General-cum-Chief Executive Officer of the SRC.

 

The sum will be channelled towards the following causes:

Kenya - Supporting food security and livelihood initiatives and helping Kenya Red Cross' disaster response in the procurement and distribution of meat and seeds;

Ethiopia - Funding projects targeting improvement in health, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, nutrition and food security to support more than 300,000 persons for nine months;

Somalia - Contributing food baskets to 77,352 individuals living in Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Sool and Sanaag. Each 25 kg food basket comprises of maize, flour, sugar, vegetables such as dried beans and peas, and three litres of vegetable oil. They are estimated to meet the needs of a family of six for at least a month.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is working with the Kenyan Red Cross, Ethiopian Red Crescent and the Somali Red Crescent to support affected communities, and need more support in the areas of health, nutrition, livelihoods and water sanitation.

The prolonged drought crisis is a result of the La Nina weather phenomenon.

According to the United Nations (UN), 12.8 million people in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia are severely food insecure and are in need of humanitarian assistance. It is the third consecutive year of drought in the region.