US First Lady Jill Biden has arrived in Kenya as the Horn of Africa region endures its worst drought in decades. The past five rainy seasons have all been poor and that’s led to millions of livestock dying as well as the destruction of many farmers’ crop harvests.
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🔺The #HornOfAfrica is facing an unequalled, 3-year #drought. The impact on people's lives is catastrophic.
🔺Even if it does rain this year, the sheer scale and magnitude of suffering already seen, means that it will take many years for people in the region to recover. pic.twitter.com/OMV69ySODj
— WFP Africa (@WFP_Africa) February 22, 2023
And now climatologists say the next rainy season will be poor too. It means around 22 million people are at risk of severe hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The war in Ukraine has also had an effect, limiting crucial grain exports to Africa and elsewhere. President Joe Biden’s Democratic party has a personal link with Kenya; Barack Obama’s father was Kenyan and he visited when he was a Senator in 2006 and as president in 2015.
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Jill Biden’s tour is mostly aimed at deepening American ties with Africa, which has become a diplomatic battleground since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. As she was in Namibia on Thursday its government – along with 14 other African states – abstained in a vote at the UN calling on Russia to immediately withdraw. And Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali were three of just seven states who voted against it.