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New York

Donors at a United Nations event on Wednesday pledged humanitarian aid totalling $2.4 billion to provide support for nearly 32 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

According to the Geneva-based UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in the face of five consecutive poor rainy seasons, more than 32 million people need assistance.

OCHA puts the amount needed at $7 billion for the year.

Money pledged would allow humanitarian agencies to sustain aid pipelines of food, water, health care, nutrition and protection services, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya said.

“We welcome the announcements of support for the people of the Horn of Africa, who need our sustained commitment to recover from a crisis of catastrophic proportions,” she said.

“We must persist in pushing for stepped-up investments, especially to bolster the resilience of people already bearing the brunt of climate change.”

An estimated 43,000 people died in 2022 in Somalia, most likely due to the drought, half of whom may have been children under age five, OCHA said.

Millions remain displaced because of drought as well as conflict.

While recent rain had eased the impacts of the drought, floods had caused widespread damage and affected at least 900,000 people.

The pledges were made at an event in New York, co-hosted by the UN, Italy, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States, in collaboration with the three affected countries.

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