, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 29 – Kenya has benefited from a Sh12.7 billion ($140million) financing from the World Bank to address the current drought crisis that has affected an estimated 3.5 million Kenyans.
World Bank Country Director Johannes Zutt said on Friday that this was part of a $686 million (Sh62.4 billion) grant the financial institution would give to Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti which are most affected by the current drought in the Horn of Africa.
The funds will provide support for immediate, medium and long term solution to the crisis.
“For example in Kenya we are working with the government to identify and finance a large project to safeguard water security,” Mr Zutt explained.
“We are also working with the government to consolidate a social protection programme so that the country can quickly scale up cash transfers in emergency situations like this one,” he added.
To support activities in the medium and long term, the World Bank plans to spend $250 million to help the countries with drought preparedness and climate resilience.
Mr Zutt termed the current drought that has affected more than 11 million people in the East Horn of Africa as a wakeup call for the need to manage agriculture in a changing climate.
He added that there was need for integrated approach to food security, poverty and climate change.
“The solution, in a word, is adaptation. It’s very clear that as global climate change continues, it will become more and more important for the countries in the Horn of Africa to develop their agricultural policies to that fact and to ensure that social safety nets protect women and children and other poor people who are especially vulnerable to the impacts of drought,” he told Journalists at a press conference.
The World Bank will assist to respond to the drought crisis in three phases – Rapid Response phase that would cover the first six months, Economic Recovery phase to cover the first two years and the Drought Resilience phase that would focus on implementation over a longer period of time.
In the first phase, $88 million will be made available to support the most affected areas of which $9 million was immediately available from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and other trust funds. This would provide support for early livelihood recovery in affected communities in all the affected countries.
The economic recovery and drought resilience phases would be allocated the remaining $597million to facilitate recovery of crop and livestock production, help countries improve land management, strengthen social safety nets to respond quickly and preventatively to situations like the current drought and adapt to climate change.
Ethiopia would receive $270 million, Somalia $9 million and Djibouti $15 million. The remaining $252 million will be regional.