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SCIAF welcomes funding to support East Africa

6 March 2023

Climate Change Desertification Ethiopia 3 51957699637 o

SCIAF has welcomed £500,000 funding from the Scottish Government, which will be shared amongst four charities, including SCIAF, to support projects affected by the extreme drought in East Africa.

SCIAF will receive £125,000 of the funding which will support our work in Ethiopia, providing food supplies and access to safe water in areas of the country severely struggling from the food crisis.

The funding will also help rehabilitate shallow wells and water points and provide water purification materials – improving access to water for 7,000 households - and provide emergency access to cash.

East Africa is facing one of its most severe episodes of drought in decades, with the driest conditions seen in 40 years. The fifth consecutive rainy season is lower than expected and the forecast for the next few months isn't hopeful, further exacerbating the situation.

SCIAF Director Alistair Dutton said:

“Visiting Ethiopia ten days ago, our President Bishop Brian McGee and I saw the desperate situation in the country. We saw people digging shallow wells to unearth small pools of water to drink and water the cattle but even that isn’t possible away from the rivers.

“The day before we arrived, the local authority in South Omo had announced that the water in the river would only last another two weeks, and they urgently appealed for aid agencies to begin water trucking. In this chilling context, the Scottish Government’s funding will make an enormous difference and allow SCIAF’s local partners to provide urgently needed services to people whose options are running out. 

“While we were there, we visited some of our projects which are providing essential water to the community, the newest of which is solar-powered source, capable of storing 80,000 litres of vital water. Thanks to this new Scottish Government funding, this work will continue.”

International Development Minister Neil Gray said:

“The drought affecting countries in East Africa is one of the worst in decades and the situation is becoming even more desperate. This funding will support four essential projects in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya, ensuring people suffering from the drought receive necessary food supplies and enhanced access to clean water – a vital measure in preventing water borne diseases.

“The Scottish Government is committed to fulfilling its role as a responsible and compassionate global citizen and this aid from our Humanitarian Emergency Fund will provide essential help to those in desperate need.”