Too many countries have not woken up
to the scale of east Africa’s drought, the International Development Secretary
Andrew Mitchell has said.
He spoke as planes with UK-backed aid arrived in Somalia and convoys reached
Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps.
Britons have donated £42m – and the UK government £95m – to get food, water
and medicine to some 12 million people.
Mr Mitchell called on other nations to bolster a United Nations appeal for
$2.4bn (£1.45bn), which is 60% short.
The drought has devastated cattle and crops, leading to a famine declaration
in two regions of Somalia. Other areas are expected to follow.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents 14 UK-based aid groups,
revealed the £42m donated by the UK public on Tuesday.
Mr Mitchell said aid from the UK was helping 200,000 people in Somalia and
two million across the wider region.
“British aid is getting through to thousands of families as we speak and that
help will save lives,” he said.
However, he added: “Too many countries have failed to wake up to the scale of
the situation and the response that is needed.
“It is time for people to step up their response or risk
failing thousands of men, women and children who are in need of our help.”
Aid flights from Heathrow landed in Somalia’s Mogadishu and Baidoa airports,
and lorry convoys have reached Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp and the Dolo Ado camp
in Ethiopia, according to the Department for International Development
Thousands of people in Kenyan refugee camps have now received crucial basic
supplies such as tents and cooking equipment, as well as medical equipment and
safe drinking water.
tracker has been set up on the DFID website to update the public as to where
funding is being channelled.