REACTION: Oxfam response to the UK government’s announcement on its humanitarian support for East Africa

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In response to the UK government’s announcement on its humanitarian support for East Africa ahead of the high-level pledging conference in New York later today, Oxfam’s Katy Chakrabortty, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam said:

“The UK’s announcement that it will cut funding to tackle hunger in East Africa by more than a quarter is a betrayal of tens of millions of people in the region facing life threatening food insecurity.

“One person is likely dying every 28 seconds, yet instead of tackling hunger the UK’s priority seems to be to cook the books. The Government looks like its attempting to mask the scale of the cuts behind a headline figure inflated by the inclusion of support for Sudan and Uganda.

“As co-chair of the pledging conference the UK is guilty of a gross dereliction of duties, in place of global leadership we have furtive penny pinching. The fact that nearly 400 people in East Africa will die of hunger during the three hours of this conference, is a stain on the conscience of the world that we can only hope will spur other countries to act.”


For more information or interviews please contact Sophie Bowell / / +44 (0) 7810 814980

Note to editors:

The Government’s announcement today allocates £114.7m across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Last year the allocation was £156m so we calculate this as a cut of 27 per cent.

The high-level pledging conference today focuses on Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Our calculations include flood hit South Sudan where nearly two thirds of the population (63 per cent) are already facing extreme food insecurity – the highest levels in the world.

Last year the UK provided just £156 million in humanitarian aid for East Africa, less than a fifth (18 per cent) of the £861m provided in 2017-8 during the region’s last major hunger crisis which helped avert a widespread famine.

Last week Oxfam warned that the food crisis in East Africa is expected to reach its highest level since the crisis began with one person likely to die of hunger every 28 seconds between now and July across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan

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