U.S. Provides Emergency Flood Assistance to the Horn of Africa

Ruzan Haruriunyan's picture

The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced today that it is providing $100,000 to the Kenyan Red Cross Society to support emergency relief assistance to hard-hit flood victims in affected areas of Kenya.

This new funding is in addition to other USAID flood-related assistance to the Horn of Africa, which includes:

1. Distribution of relief commodities and water purification kits in Ethiopia's Somali region;

2. Provision of six Zodiac boats, motors, and accessories to facilitate response efforts in flood-affected regions in Somalia;

3. Approximately 33,000 MT of food aid warehoused in Somalia and neighboring Kenya to 23,000 affected households in Somalia's Hiraan and Lower Shabelle regions;

4. Water and sanitation, health and nutrition programs in the affected areas of Somalia's Hiraan, Lower Shabelle, and Juba Valley regions;

5. Ongoing emergency assistance programs in Kenya through six non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), targeting health, water and sanitation activities.

Unusually heavy rainfall in October and November 2006 caused widespread flooding across the Horn of Africa, with parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia sustaining the most serious damage. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that the flooding has affected 1.8 million people in the region, resulting in large-scale population displacements and the loss of lives and livelihoods. The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) forecasts continued rains in the region until mid-January 2007, which is likely to compound the crisis in the short-term.

USAID maintains an active presence in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, supporting programs in agriculture and food security, health, nutrition, and water and sanitation. In response to the flooding, USAID is working with current NGO partners, United Nations (UN) agencies, and Kenyan and Ethiopian government officials to coordinate humanitarian efforts across the region. The UN has made $15.1 million in Central Emergency Relief Funds (CERF) available for flood response assistance. In fiscal year 2006, USAID contributed $10 million to the CERF.

For more information about our humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/

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