Germany pledges humanitarian support to drought victims

Ambassador Sebastian Groth accompanied by Katja Keul, Germany's Foreign Minister of State for Africa and an embassy official when they met with the National Assembly's Defence, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence Committee. [Courtesy, NA]

Germany has pledged to partner with Kenya to expand humanitarian cooperation in drought-stricken counties.

Ambassador Sebastian Groth the cooperation aims at restoring lives and livelihoods affected by the raging drought crisis in the country's arid and semi-arid regions.

"Germany is the second largest donor in humanitarian aid. In East Africa, our support to the World Food Programme stands at 16 million Euros and we have also allocated an additional 6 million Euros for Kenya's Arid and Semi-Arid areas,” the envoy said.

Groth spoke when he paid a courtesy call to National Assembly’s Defence, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence Committee chaired by Belgut MP Nelson Koech.

This comes even as Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua urged food-secure counties in Kenya to share surplus produce with those severely affected by drought.

The deputy president revealed that some 4.35 million Kenyans were in dire need of food and water.

According to Gachagua, some 2.5 million livestock countrywide have since died due to lack of pasture.

Eleven (11) counties namely Garissa, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kitui, Mandera, Marsabit, Laikipia, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir are in severe drought phase.

Nine counties Embu, Kilifi, Kwale, Makueni, Meru, Narok, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi and Taita Taveta are in the alert drought phase.

Baringo, West Pokot and Lamu are in a normal drought phase.

But Groth said although Germany is ready for cooperation to mitigate the current situation, the problem is more complex than humanitarian aid that needs closer partnerships with all stakeholders.

During the meeting, the committee and the visiting dignitaries discussed far-reaching areas of mutual interest and cooperation between the two countries on peace, counterterrorism diplomacy and global trade

Discussion on the global economic and humanitarian impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as armed conflict within several unstable countries in the Horn of Africa, was also extensively discussed, with the German team lauding Kenya as a critical partner and a team player in the endeavour for global peace and security.

Ms Katja Keul, Germany's Foreign Minister of State for Africa pledged to entrench the defence and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries, as part of the larger strategy for global peace and stability.

She said Kenya is an anchorage for stability in the region. We have been worried about conflicts surrounding your country and we are pleased with the efforts Kenya is making.

"The humanitarian situation resulting from the Ukrainian conflict is no longer just a European problem. Its consequences are equally hitting Africa just as hard as seeing what is happening in Somalia and the suffering of the people caused by climate change, conflict or both.  This is why we have resolved to deepen our cooperation, especially in light of Kenya's commitment to this shared endeavour,” she said.

The Committee Chairperson Nelson Koech, said Kenya as the regional political and military powerhouse remains committed to regional peace restoration efforts.

"We deployed our troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the regional efforts to restore stability in the region. Our former President H.E Uhuru Kenyatta is also a champion of peace efforts in one of our region's worst conflicts in Ethiopia's Tigray region," said Koech.