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Government approves additional €30 million aid package for the Horn of Africa

Ireland will immediately provide an additional €30 million in humanitarian aid to respond to the rapidly deteriorating food crisis in the Horn of Africa. This funding brings to over €100m Ireland’s humanitarian and development funding for the Horn of Africa in 2022.

The region is facing an unprecedented drought and severe food crisis, which has left more than 36 million people affected.

The €30 million package will support a range of UN and civil society partners active in the region, including UNOCHA, UNICEF, UNFPA, and seven Irish NGOs – Concern, Trócaire, GOAL, World Vision, Oxfam, Plan International, and Christian Aid. A significant proportion of the funds will support the response in Somalia where the threat of famine is most severe.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, T.D said:
“The Horn of Africa is on the brink of disaster. The prospect of starvation and famine across swathes of the Horn is imminent. The combined effects of drought, conflict, ongoing political struggle and the global impact of the war in Ukraine have been devastating. Ireland is stepping up our support to respond immediately."

“Sadly this crisis looks set to worsen further in the months ahead. This €30m package in additional funding will address immediate life-saving needs and begin to lay the groundwork for longer-term resilience and development.”

Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy, TD added:

“The people of the Horn of Africa are facing a humanitarian catastrophe. I recently met with families in northern Kenya who have lost their animals, their livelihoods and all their means to provide for themselves. Those people told me that they feared they would starve in the months ahead."

“We urgently need the international community to step-up. The international response to this crisis remains drastically underfunded, with humanitarian funding gaps of over 50% evident across some of the affected countries."

“This additional funding brings Ireland’s support for the region this year to €100m. We are working through our key partners already present on the ground and who have proven ability to deliver support to people who urgently need it."

The additional €30m will be allocated as follows:

  • €17m will be allocated to target the worst affected areas across the region through UN OCHA in Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, through UNICEF in Kenya and through Ireland’s Embassy in Ethiopia working with established partners.
  • €5m will be provided to Irish NGO partners with a focus on life-saving health, nutrition, sanitation, cash, gender and protection.
  • A further €5 million will support the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) response in the Horn of Africa. Ireland is the 8th largest annual contributor to the CERF, a global pooled fund that is widely considered the backbone of humanitarian action.
  • €2 million to UNFPA’s response in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia will support the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender based violence and ensure that reproductive and sexual health needs are targeted and included in the overall humanitarian response across the region.
  • €1 million will be allocated to UN OCHA for their critical coordination role ensuring that funding targets the most vulnerable communities and that access is secured to deliver the assistance in a timely manner.


Notes to editors

  • The Horn of Africa is in the midst of a rapidly deteriorating food security crisis due to an historic five -season drought compounded by conflict and the impact of the war in Ukraine on food supply.
  • At least 36 million people have been affected by a severe drought centred on southern Ethiopia, northern Kenya and Somalia. As a result of the drought, at least 21 million people in these countries are currently facing high levels of acute food insecurity and rising malnutrition. This figure could increase to between 23 and 26 million by February 2023.
  • Minister Brophy undertook a week-long visit to the region in August-September 2022 which saw him travel to Kenya and South Sudan, meeting a range of stakeholders, including government officials, Irish Aid partners and vulnerable communities affected by the crisis. The Minister visited the Turkana region of northern Kenya, one of the areas worst affected by the drought.
  • The additional €30m in funding to UN and NGO partners will be disbursed immediately. All the partners identified are present in the region and are already responding to the humanitarian need.


Press Office

29 November 2022