Several European countries have put together a package of crisis-support in order to bolster food security in Kenya and neighbouring countries at a time of crisis due to COVID-19. This includes help for farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs, assistance in the fight against locusts, humanitarian aid and epidemic control measures. At least Ksh 2.4 billion (EUR 21 million) of this support will go to Kenya.
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. The purpose of the support is to strengthen value chains in the horticulture, dry land crops and dairy sectors. The integration of food security and water programmes is a crucial component of this effort, with the ultimate aim being to build resilience and ensure longer-term food security.
In parallel to its backing for farmers in the field, the European Union (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.
The 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 immediate needs of refugees and internally displaced people, such as protection, shelter, food, access to health and nutrition care, as well as clean water, are a core component of European assistance. Support also extends to longer term joined up support for both refugees & their host communities aimed at fostering socio-economic inclusion.
With some 25 million people already at risk of food shortages in the region, the desert locust upsurge is an additional threat to food security and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable communities. 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. Therefore, the teamis assisting Kenya and the region to tackle locusts and provide support to affected pastoralists and farmers through funding to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
The EU is providing EUR 105.5 million, Germany EUR 20 million, France EUR 6.5 million, Sweden EUR 4.2 million, the Netherlands EUR 3.25 million, Denmark 1.3 million and Belgium EUR 1 million to this effort in the region. This support is part of Team Europe’s collective efforts to help Kenya and its neighbours tackle the pandemic. The EU itself is contributing Ksh 35 billion to Kenya’s response to COVID-19 whilst EU Member States have already provided Ksh 3.3 billion(EUR 28.2 million) – that figure continues to increase. This collective support by the European Countries is a statement of Europe’s friendship and partnership with Kenya in these difficult global times