OCHA: Donations to East African Crisis Response Slowing Down

A refugee camp in Ethiopia for people affected by the severe drought in the East Africa. Photo by: Eskinder Debebe / UN

Donations to aid appeals for East African countries hit by famine and drought are slowing down at a time when the number of affected people in the region is increasing, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has noted.

New OCHA data estimates at least 13.3 million people in East Africa are now facing starvation and in urgent need of aid. This is almost 1 million more from previous estimates, according to the Telegraph.

Contributions to U.N. aid appeals for the region, meanwhile, are reportedly slowing down.

“I think it is fair to say that while we received substantial contributions from donors when the news first broke, and they were very generous, now that is levelling off,” the Telegraph quotes Gabriella Waaijman, deputy head of OCHA’s office for East Africa.

The news of dwindling contributions came as African leaders met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss the region’s response to the East African crisis.

“Across the Horn, a bold approach is needed that ensures both recovery and resilience while taking into account the environment, the economics of pastoral and nomadic livelihoods, population pressure, equity in development spending, good governance and the need to avoid dependency,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the meeting.

While leaders agreed to invest in longer-term measures against recurring droughts, corruption, which some activists say contributed more to the famine, was not addressed, the Associated Press reports.

The conference was also an opportunity for African leaders to “show their determination to end drought disasters,” aid campaign group Oxfam International has noted.

“The political responsibility to tackle drought and stop disasters lies with governments, but they have not always turned words into action. Many governments have good policies on paper, but they have not been fully implemented. Governments need to present and prioritise costed action plans that can be delivered and held to account by their own citizens,” Philippa Crosland-Taylor, Oxfam’s deputy regional director for the Horn, East and Central Africa, said in a statement.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.