European nations offer US$22.4m assistance to Kenya to alleviate food insecurity

KENYA – Kenya is set to receive at least Ksh. 2.4 billion (US$22.4m) from ‘Team Europe’ I.e. the EU, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden and Denmark as support to bolster food security in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and desert locust infestation.

The funding is part of the over Ksh.16 billion (US$149.7M) also extended to other neighbouring countries.

EU has contributed EUR 105.5 million (US$115.5m), Germany EUR 20 million (US$21.9m), France EUR 6.5 million (US$7.1m), Sweden EUR 4.2 million (US$4.6m), the Netherlands EUR 3.25 million (US$3.5m), Denmark 1.3 million (US$1.4m) and Belgium EUR 1 million (US$1.09m) to this effort.

According to a KBC report, the purpose of the support is to strengthen value chains in the horticulture, dry-land crops and dairy sectors.

 “Concretely, the European support for food and nutrition security covers financial and logistical support to farmers and small and medium enterprises, including to get seeds and fodder for their livestock,” said Team Europe.

In parallel to its backing for farmers in the field, the EU is also focusing on strengthening sustainable trade with Kenya, for instance by supporting additional cargo flights.

This has ensured that essential agricultural goods have continued to enter Kenya, underpinning local food security, and Kenyan goods can enter Europe, supporting Kenyan livelihoods.

It added that ‘Team Europe’ support is furthermore being provided for the treatment of acute malnutrition, especially for young children, and to boost the overall health situation through the provision of basic services and epidemics control.

The population’s access to sufficient and nutritious food is at risk of being severely reduced by rising food prices.

The coronavirus pandemic has only aggravated  the situation, as prevention and control measures can create additional challenges to the delivery of humanitarian aid to people in need. 

This collective support by Team Europe is a statement of Europe’s friendship and partnership with Kenya in these difficult global times.

In other related news, The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is seeking US$350 million to scale up hunger-fighting and livelihoods-boosting activities in food crisis contexts where COVID-19’s impact could be devastating.

FAO’s new funding request of US$350 million is about three times more than in late March as COVID-19’s staggering socioeconomic impacts become more evident.

It’s response to COVID-19 is part of the Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan.

In the region FAO has so far distributed over 4 million kilograms of the procured and pre-positioned 8 million kilograms of crop and vegetable seeds, and over 100 000 agricultural hand tools to about 1.8million people in Sudan. In addition, nearly 50 000 people received fishing kits.

In Somalia, FAO fully transitioned its cash assistance to mobile cash delivery, and, over the last 60 days, transferred over US$4 million in mobile money to help 200 000 Somalis access food and other basic needs.

In addition, 240 000 Somalis are receiving e-vouchers via SMS to get seeds, farm tools, irrigation service and storage bags from local traders. This way, FAO reinjects money into the local economy and avoids supply chain delays due to COVID-19.

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