The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday it will provide an additional $169 million in humanitarian aid to the drought-stricken African countries of Ethiopia and Kenya.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said the funds, over $136 million for Ethiopia and almost $33 million for Kenya, would be used for emergency food aid, nutrition supplies, and health services.
USAID said nearly 8 million Ethiopians are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Without it, the agency said “food insecurity could reach catastrophic levels for some families in the worst-affected areas” and result in “the displacement of affected populations.”
In Kenya, USAID said some 2.6 million people are “acutely food-insecure” as drought conditions continue.
The latest round of humanitarian aid increases to $458 million the amount of assistance the U.S. has provided to Ethiopia and Kenya this fiscal year.
Last month, the U.S. pledged nearly $640 million in urgent food assistance to Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
In addition to drought-caused food shortages, the countries have had to grapple with armed conflicts and economic turmoil that caused reductions in medical care, shelter and safety and sanitation services.
The United Nations previously warned of mass starvation in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Last month it said many people in South Sudan continue to suffer from hunger, but that famine conditions in parts of the country had eased.
The United Nations reports 795 million people are undernourished throughout the world, primarily in developing countries.