NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of DKK 28.4 million (USD 4.3 million) from the Government of Denmark for Scaling Up Anticipatory Action for Food Security to reduce the effects of climate shocks in the Horn of Africa. This is in addition to the DKK 15 million (USD 2.2 million) given by the Government of Denmark in 2019, to establish systems for financing that is allocated in advance of a climate disaster. This financing enables implementation of pre-agreed anticipatory actions, to reduce the impacts of predictable climate hazards before they materialize.
The exceptional prolonged drought between 2020 and 2022 in the Horn of Africa has left no time to recover from one failed rainfall season to the next, causing pastoral, agro-pastoral and farming communities to lose their livestock and crops. Water has become scarce and the numbers of people falling into a food security crisis continues to rise.
‘’A fourth failed rainfall season is looming in the region between March and May 2022 that would worsen the drought and food insecurity crisis. WFP estimates that at least 9 million people are expected to face acute food insecurity in the drought-stricken areas of Southern Ethiopia, Northern Kenya and South-Central Somalia. Anticipatory Actions will help to reduce the scale of urgent humanitarian needs and losses and damages due to the drought,’’ said Michael Dunford, WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa when he visited drought-affected parts of Southern Ethiopia last week.
The Danish contribution comes at a critical time and will substantially reinforce WFP’s efforts to scale up anticipatory actions to cover more people in more locations. Acting ahead of the season, WFP together with governments and partners in Ethiopia and Somalia will use the funding to scale-up social safety nets and deliver cash and drought-relevant information to help more than 91,000 most vulnerable people to have the essential capital to protect their lives and livelihoods from the deteriorating impacts of drought. These anticipatory actions will help to build resilience and reduce the cost of late humanitarian response. As shown in a study conducted in the region in 2018, every US$1 invested in building people’s resilience will result in up to US$3 in reduced humanitarian aid and avoided losses.
The funding will further support integration of anticipatory action systems in Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda into existing disaster management systems, to support scale and long-term sustainability. WFP is also using part of the funding to replenish the prearranged contingency fund that will allow any country in the region that has an approved anticipatory action system to rapidly access finance for implementing anticipatory actions in case of a forecasted drought or flood.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.