• The fund, according to the EU, will help farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs and assist in the fight against locusts, humanitarian aid and epidemic control measures.
• The support covers financial and logistical support to farmers and small and medium enterprises, including to get seeds and fodder for their livestock.
NAIROBI – Kenya will receive Sh2.4 billion from the European Union for food security support amid the Covid-19 pandemic, locust invasion and ongoing floods.
The fund, according to the EU, will help farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs and assist in the fight against locusts, humanitarian aid and epidemic control measures.
“Team Europe 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. At least Ksh 2.4 billion (EUR 21 million) of this support will go to Kenya, and the support for Kenya’s neighbours also helps Kenya,” the EU said in a statement on May 18.
The support covers financial and logistical support to farmers and small and medium enterprises for 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,” the EU said
With some 25 million people already at risk of food shortages in the region, the desert locust upsurge poses a great threat to food security and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable communities.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates one swarm in Kenya at around 2,400 square kilometres (about 930 square miles), meaning it could contain up to 200 billion locusts, each of which consume their own weight in food every day.
“ 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 FAO,” the statement added.
The EU is providing €105.5 million (Sh12.3 billion), Germany €20 million (Sh2.3 billion), France € 6.5 million (Sh760 million), Sweden € 4.2 million (Sh491 million), the Netherlands € 3.25 million (Sh409 million), Denmark €1.3 million (Sh152 million) and Belgium €1 million (Sh116.9 million) to this effort in the region.
The EU itself is contributing Sh35 billion to Kenya’s response to Covid-19, while member states have provided Sh3.3 billion.
“This collective support by Team Europe is a statement of Europe’s friendship and partnership with Kenya in these difficult global times,” the statement added