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British aid agencies have raised £72 million for drought victims in East Africa, the highest total ever for a food crisis.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched an appeal in July after Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and the Republic of South Sudan suffered one of the worst droughts in 60 years.

One hundred days since the appeal's launch, the total raised is the third largest in the charity's 45-year history.

More money has only been raised by the tsunami earthquake appeal of December 2004 (£390 million) and Haiti earthquake of January 2010 (£107 million), the charity said.

It is also the largest total for any African appeal, and the highest for one where conflict was a principle cause of a disaster.

The disaster left more than 12 million people in need of food, water and emergency healthcare.


The DEC, which comprises 14 British aid agencies, said it has helped nine million people receive aid in East Africa - but it said there are still "significant shortfalls" in the delivery of aid.

There is a shortage of funds, particularly from sources outside the UK, and problems of insecurity and limited access in the worst affected areas of Somalia.

Some affected areas of Kenya and Ethiopia are seeing the first signs of improvement, the charity said. Increasing amounts of aid are getting through, harvests are being reaped in many areas and rains are making more pasture available for surviving livestock.

But the charity warned that many people in these areas still need emergency support in the short term, as well as longer term aid in the coming years to rebuild their livelihoods.


PA, photo by DFID