The Trump administration gave 169 million dollars to feed people starving in Ethiopia and Kenya, USAID said on Thursday, adding to earlier assistance for those suffering from drought and conflict in four other nations.
USAID, the U.S. government’s humanitarian relief agency, said in a statement that it would provide 137 million dollars in aid for Ethiopia and nearly 33 million dollars for Kenya.
The latest wave of funding comes after Trump pledged 639 million dollars in July in urgent food assistance for those in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.
Increased aid comes as numerous countries in the region face crisis-level food shortages due to armed conflict, drought and economic upheaval that have also resulted in a lack of medical care, sanitation, shelter and safety.
“With this new funding, the United States is scaling up emergency food assistance, while providing specialized nutrition supplies to treat malnourished children, and also furnishing safe drinking water and essential health services,” USAID statement said.
USAID said the funds for Kenya would help support refugees fleeing neighboring conflicts as well as Kenyans suffering from drought.
Rising food prices have also been an ongoing concern.
USAID added that the assistance for Ethiopia, which has also been struck by a severe drought, included enough food to feed three million people.
Conflicts can also shift countries’ resources away from infrastructure and public health, causing food and water shortages, overcrowding and lack of sanitation.
Such conditions can lead to diseases such as cholera, measles and malaria.
According to UN, 795 million people worldwide are undernourished, mostly in developing countries.
It has already warned of mass starvation in Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan.
In July, UN said many people in South Sudan are still going hungry, the worst of the famine had eased.
In Yemen, a two-year war has increased concerns about mass starvation and disease.