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Andrew Mitchell announces £52.25m in emergency aid for African drought victims

By Matthew Barrett
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Mitchell & Bottles in ZimToday, the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, has announced the Government is providing relief for people caught up in the desperate drought in the Horn of Africa, which the UN has warned could be "a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions". The Daily Telegraph reports:

"Following several seasons of failed rains and spiralling global food prices, drought has hit more than 12 million people across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Thousands of Somali refugees are making perilous journeys of hundreds of miles to seek assistance: 54,000 people crossed into Ethiopia and Kenya in June alone. Levels of serious malnutrition amongst newly arrived children in Ethiopia are exceeding 50 per cent, while in Kenya levels are reaching 30 to 40 per cent."

The Government is assigning £52.25m in emergency assistance for Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. That aid will help: 

  • 500,000 people in Somalia, including nearly 70,000 acutely malnourished children
  • Over 130,000 people in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, including providing access to clean drinking water and health care
  • Over 100,000 people in the Dolo Ado refugee camps in Ethiopia, including providing access to shelter, clean drinking water and treatment for starving children
  • 300,000 Kenyans, including providing special rations to prevent malnutrition in children under the age of five

Mr Mitchell, who is visiting Kenya and the Dadaab refugee camps today, praised Britons, who have collectively donated £13m in donations to charities covering the crisis: 

"People across Britain have responded with great generosity to appeals by British NGOs working in the Horn of Africa. But the situation is getting worse - and is particularly devastating in Somalia, where families already have to cope with living in one of the most insecure countries in the world."

"More than 3,000 people every day are fleeing over the borders to Ethiopia and Kenya, many of them arriving with starving children. The international community must do more to help not only refugees but also those victims of the drought who remain in Somalia."

> On Gazette today, Andrew Mitchell celebrates a record number of volunteers joining Project Umubano 


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