Kenya + 5 more

Priti Patel responds to Disasters Emergency Committee’s new East Africa Crisis Appeal

UK Government to match the first £5 million donated by the public to the Disasters Emergency Committee's new East Africa Crisis Appeal.

The UK Government will match pound for pound the first £5 million donated by the public to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s new East Africa Crisis Appeal.

This new support will double the impact of the public’s own donations and ensure that charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.

The UK’s support will go directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal and provide vital and life-saving emergency supplies.

The Disasters Emergency Committee brings together 13 leading UK aid agencies to raise money at times of humanitarian crisis in poorer countries. By working together we can raise more money to save lives and rebuild shattered communities.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

In 2017, we face an unprecedented challenge with millions of people stalked by the scourge of famine. Britain has acted without hesitation – UK aid funded food, water and emergency healthcare is being delivered across East Africa right now, but more support is urgently needed to prevent a catastrophe.

In times of crises, the British people are renowned for their incredible generosity and by matching pound for pound public donations to the DEC Appeal, the Government will double the difference Britons can make to the lives of children dying of hunger.

The international community must now follow Global Britain’s lead to save lives and stop the famine before it becomes a stain on our collective conscience. The world cannot afford to wait.


Notes to editors

Donations can be made at or by calling 0370 60 60 610 (in the UK)

  • £25 could provide a month’s supply of life-saving peanut paste to a malnourished child.

  • £60 could provide clean drinking water for two families for a month.

  • £100 could provide supplies to a clinic treating severely malnourished children for a week.

UK support to Somalia:

  • In Somalia, more than six million people have no reliable access to food and there are 360,000 acutely malnourished children. All the signs are pointing to a famine as bad, or worse, than the one in 2011 which killed 260,000 people. The UK is acting now to prevent this.

  • We recently announced humanitarian support for Somalia worth £100 million to respond to famine warnings, on top of a further £10 million announced by the International Development Secretary Priti Patel during a recent visit to Somalia.

  • This £110 million of UK aid support will provide:

  • Up to 1 million people provided with emergency food assistance - Over 600,000 starving children and pregnant and breastfeeding women provided with nutritional interventions - Over 1 million people provided with safe drinking water and hygiene - More than 1.1 million people provided with emergency health services.

  • Global Britain will bring the international community together in London for a conference later this year to agree future support to Somalia, which is firmly in the UK’s interes‎ts.

UK support to South Sudan:

  • The situation in South Sudan is dire. Children will die tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, until the South Sudanese authorities allow food and life-saving aid to reach those most in need.

  • Famine has now been officially declared in some parts of South Sudan – the first declaration of famine anywhere in the world for six years. 100,000 people in Unity State (Leer and Mayendit Districts) are now at risk of starvation.

  • Almost 5 million face the daily threat of going without enough food and water and 3 million people have been forced from their homes because of ruthless violence and widespread rape.

  • The UK was one of the first major donors to respond to the UN’s appeal to South Sudan and we are leading the way by making sure millions of people in South Sudan get urgently needed food, water and medicine, as well as longer term support to provide much-needed education.

  • The UK has announced £100m for 2017/18 that will provide:

  • food for over 500,000 people - life-saving nutritional support to more than 27,500 children - safe drinking water for over 300,000 people - emergency health services for over 100,000 people - livelihood support for over 650,000 people and - vaccinations for over 200,000 livestock.

  • The UK is also leading the way in providing support for the region, bolstering help for neighbouring countries such as Uganda (almost £50 million over the last three years) to cope with the influx of refugees from South Sudan.

  • In 2016, the UK’s support to Uganda has provided: food for 650,000 people including 45,000 children; shelter for 56,250 people; blankets, water containers and sanitary towels for 64,000 people; and vaccinated 210,000 children.

  • The UK will not look the other way while people suffer: the Government of South Sudan must put an end abuses and deliver long-lasting peace.

  • The international community now needs to step up alongside Global Britain to stop famine spreading and help support stability in South Sudan and the region, which is firmly in our interests.

  • It is first and foremost the responsibility the country’s leaders to alleviate the pressure on its people, and to stop obstructing the UN, as well as NGOs, who are delivering vital lifesaving aid to the South Sudanese people and ultimately create lasting peace and stability.

UK support to Kenya:

  • We are responding early and working with the international community to prevent a repeat of the Horn of Africa crisis in 2010/11.

  • Our support at an early stage has helped mitigate the impact of droughts, saving lives and reducing the need for costly and often late humanitarian appeals.

  • We have provided 11,500 children under five with nutrition.

  • The Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) – supported by UK aid - aims to reduce poverty and hunger, and build economic resilience for the most vulnerable people in the 4 poorest arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) counties (Turkana, Mandera, Marsabit and Wajir). It covers an area is equivalent to 91% of the UK and 60% of the beneficiaries are women.

  • HSNP provides small regular cash transfers as an alternative to food aid to support around 600,000 people, empowering people to make decisions about what they need, cutting out the middle man and reducing waste. Payments are made to households and work out at around £3.33 per person per month, paid every two months.

  • HSNP can also rapidly scale up to reach a further 1.5 million people by providing emergency cash transfers to prevent the effects of drought. To date, on the basis of satellite early warning data, HSNP has scaled up support 11 times since 2015, including 3 times in response to the current drought.

  • All payments are made electronically through biometric systems which are some of the most secure in the world, and mean British taxpayers can be sure that the help they provide goes directly to the less fortunate, not those trying to abuse the system.

  • HSNP is now a flagship programme of the Government of Kenya, managed by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) as part of the wider National Safety Net Programme (NSNP). The Government now funds over a third (34%) of the programme, having started contributing in 2013. And the Government will be taking on increased costs in future.

UK support to Ethiopia:

  • In 2017, a new drought is hitting Ethiopia hard. Over 13 million people are currently in need of food assistance; this figure is likely to rise.

  • Across the country, 9.1 million people are without access to water, and 1.9 million need support to prevent their cattle dying. 3 million children and pregnant women are projected to be acutely malnourished by May. People urgently need access to clean water, food and healthcare.

  • In response to the continuing drought, the UK has increased much needed support to Ethiopia by giving an extra £11.5 million to provide around 800,000 people with lifesaving clean water, basic food, and emergency nutrition to malnourished children. This will provide emergency nutrition treatment to 25,000 malnourished children, clean water for 100,000, people and will provide vaccination and treatment to 600,000 cattle.

  • Ethiopia is hosts over 800,000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea. New refugee arrivals from all three countries will continue to increase.

  • The humanitarian situation is worsening. Forecasts for the upcoming spring rains are poor, and the lack of rainfall means there will continue to be humanitarian needs, particularly for water and food, throughout 2017.

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