Bishop of St Albans asks about Humanitarian Aid in East Africa

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 6th June 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide humanitarian aid to East Africa following reports of impending famine conditions in the region.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con): Approximately 480,000 people in Ethiopia and Somalia are now experiencing famine-like conditions. The situation is extremely grave.

The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the East Africa region. In 2022 to support communities affected by drought plus flooding and conflict the UK has provided £72 million to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan. Across the region UK funded humanitarian activities are making a difference and saving lives. In Kenya the UK is providing 26,000 children with life-saving nutritional support. In Ethiopia a further 200,000 children and pregnant and lactating women in southern and eastern regions will receive similar aid.

The UK also played a critical role in convening the recent UN Horn of Africa Drought Roundtable which took place in late April in Geneva. This included working with states in the region and the UN to ensure appropriate levels of participation. It helped to bring much needed focus on the drought and it mobilised roughly US$400 million in new funding.

Countries across the Horn of Africa will also be impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine due to the increase in the costs of food commodities and fuel on global markets. We are exploring how we can help lessen the impact of rising food prices caused by the war in Ukraine on vulnerable communities in East Africa. This includes assessing alternate markets for procurement of food supplies and working with UN partners to promote effective prioritisation so assistance reaches the neediest.

Our response to the drought builds on long-established resilience building programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya this includes support to the Hunger Safety Programme, which has provided 600,000 people in drought prone areas with regular financial assistance. In Ethiopia, the UK funded Productive Safety Net Programme has benefitted some 8 million people via financial welfare provision and community public works projects. In Somalia the UK has been assisting over 220 rural communities with sustainable support for internally displaced persons. These programmes, coupled with additional investments, have enabled the UK to reach nearly 8 million people as a part of its emergency humanitarian response.


The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what amount of humanitarian aid was delivered to (1) Kenya, (2) Sudan, (3) Ethiopia, and (4) Somalia for the years (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021, and (d) 2022.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con): The UK provided the following amounts of humanitarian aid:

  • Financial year (FY) 2019/2020 – Kenya £36 million, Sudan £60 million, Ethiopia £77 million, Somalia £64 million;
  • FY 2020/2021 – Kenya £31 million, Sudan £66 million, Ethiopia £102 million, Somalia £70 million;
  • FY 2021/2022 – Kenya £15 million, Sudan £28 million, Ethiopia £80 million, Somalia £46 million.

In addition, in FY 2020/2021, the UK provided £23 million to support desert locust response activities across the region.

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