CHRISTIAN AID has warned the UK Government’s efforts to tackle the hunger crisis in East Africa “amount to gross negligence”, following the announcement the UK will provide just £143 million in humanitarian aid this year.   

The Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, will confirm the UK’s aid to East Africa at the UN Horn of Africa pledging conference today. However, the £143 million committed is less than the £156 million provided last year and £861million in 2017-18 during the region’s last major hunger crisis 

In contrast to 2017-18, the region is now also facing escalating violence across Sudan that has displaced some 936,000 people since 15 April. Parts of South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia continues to be hit with extreme weather conditions and the worst drought in 40 years, destroying people’s ability to cope.  

Christian Aid’s Chief of UK Advocacy, Sophie Powell, said: “The humanitarian aid committed today is a meagre fraction of what the UK provided in 2017 to avert famine, but what’s worse is it turns a blind eye to the conflict in Sudan that is displacing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. This really is the region’s darkest hour. 

“We know big results require big ambitions, yet all too sadly the UK Government response amounts to little more than gross negligence. If ever there was a sign the UK Government is stepping back from its moral responsibility to the world, this is it.  We urge ministers to think again. To meet the challenges presented by the destabilising conflict in Sudan on top of extreme weather conditions, Ministers must reverse cuts to the aid budget and ensure it is used for its proper purpose of supporting local communities in the greatest need.” 

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 936,000 people have been newly displaced by the conflict in Sudan since 15 April, including 736,200 people displaced internally and 200,000 who have crossed into neighbouring countries.

* Read the UK Government announcement here.

* Source: Christian Aid