Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Aid pledged to help famine victims

The Government has pledged another half a million euro in aid to support the most vulnerable in the Horn of Africa (AP)

The Government has pledged another half a million euro in aid to support the most vulnerable in the Horn of Africa.

The funding will provide vital water supplies to communities in Northern Kenya after a detailed briefing by the Government's technical team who visited the drought-stricken region.

Junior minister Jan O'Sullivan said it will be used by Oxfam and Christian Aid to truck water to some of the worst-affected areas, build new boreholes and provide basic healthcare to families in crisis.

Ms O'Sullivan said Ireland's support is saving lives and targeting the most vulnerable.

"The crisis in Horn of Africa is worsening every day," she said.

"Almost half of the population in Somalia are malnourished and one child in every three is suffering severe malnutrition.

"Thousands of people have already died of starvation and our assessment strongly suggests that the crisis in Somalia will worsen over the coming six months.

"While Somalia is worst-affected, the UN estimates that 3.2 million people are also at risk in Kenya, which is also hosting over 450,000 refugees from Somalia.

"The funding that I am announcing will enable Oxfam and Christian Aid to scale up their efforts to provide safe, clean water and critical health services to families."

The Government, through Irish Aid, has pledged 7.7 million euro to the crisis to date, with another 7 million euro raised in public donations to NGOs.

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