EU donates Ksh16 billion to help bolster food security in Kenya

The EU, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Sweden and Denmark 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 of this support will go to Kenya, and the support for Kenya’s neighbours also helps Kenya.

Concretely, 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, dryland 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 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 AND 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, ‘Team Europe’ is 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).