The European Union (EU) has approved an additional Sh.3.1 billion as part of continued support to building sustainable livelihoods and drought risk management in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL).
The funding will be allocated through the ‘ending drought emergencies and support to resilient livelihoods and drought risk management programme,’ which is aimed at enhancing food and nutrition security of vulnerable households.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by EU Head of Delegation to Kenya, Bruno Pozzi during the ongoing inaugural ASAL conference in Malindi town.
He said the national government has flagged drought as one of the biggest threats to the wellbeing of people in ASAL areas and achievement of Vision 2030.
Pozzi said the EU programme resonates with the government’s big four agenda particularly the commitment to attain food and nutrition security.
The first component of the programme will support sustainable livelihoods in four ASAL counties that have high vulnerability to droughts.
The second component targets beneficiaries in 23 ASAL counties and will be implemented through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).
Pozzi said the additional funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to complement government efforts to strengthen and institutionalise drought management.
“As a key partner, we recognize the particular challenges facing ASAL areas,” said Pozzi.
He added ‘the EU looks forward to strengthening further its partnerships with stakeholders in ASAL as we aim together to improve the social wellbeing and livelihoods of local communities’.
The envoy said 2016-18 drought has affected significant number of households in ASAL areas and resulted in increased number of people requiring relief support.
The NDMA Chief Executive Officer, James Odour who flanked the EU envoy during the announcement said vulnerability to drought is particularly acute in ASAL areas.
He said when drought occurs, it causes decline in food production, changes the migratory patterns of pastoralists, and exacerbates resource-based conflicts thus putting heavy strain on the economy.
By Hussein Abdullahi