Kenya Pledges $1 Million in Maize Aid to Drought-Stricken Zimbabwe

Kenya pledges $1M in maize aid to drought-stricken Zimbabwe, highlighting regional solidarity in tackling climate crisis. Ruto calls for lifting of "illegal sanctions" hindering Zimbabwe's response.

Olalekan Adigun
New Update
Kenya Pledges $1 Million in Maize Aid to Drought-Stricken Zimbabwe

Kenya Pledges $1 Million in Maize Aid to Drought-Stricken Zimbabwe

Kenya has pledged to donate $1 million worth of maize to Zimbabwe to help alleviate a severe food shortage caused by an El Niño-induced drought. The announcement came during the 4th Zimbabwe-Kenya Joint Permanent Commission on Co-operation held in Bulawayo, where Kenyan President William Ruto called on the international community to respond to Zimbabwe's declaration of a state of disaster due to the drought.

Zimbabwe officially declared the El Niño-induced drought a state of disaster on April 3, 2024, in an effort to mobilize resources and prevent widespread starvation. The drought has affected more than 80% of the country, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa stating that Zimbabwe requires over $2 billion for various interventions to address the crisis.

Why this matters: The severe drought in Zimbabwe highlights the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable populations and the urgent need for international cooperation and support. Kenya's pledge of aid emphasizes the importance of regional solidarity in times of crisis and the role that neighboring countries can play in providing assistance.

During the joint commission meeting, President Ruto expressed Kenya's solidarity with Zimbabwe and criticized Western countries for imposing what he termed as "illegal sanctions" on the nation. He called for the immediate removal of these sanctions, arguing that they hinder Zimbabwe's ability to effectively respond to the drought and other challenges.

In addition to the maize donation, Ruto also requested Zimbabwe's support for Kenya's bid to chair the African Union Commission between 2025-2028. He thanked the Zimbabwean government for providing medical oxygen to Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the spirit of mutual support between the two countries.

President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude for Kenya's maize donation, emphasizing the severity of the food shortage faced by Zimbabwe. "I want to thank President Ruto for the kind gesture of donating maize to Zimbabwe. As I mentioned, we need over $2 billion to address the drought situation, and this support from Kenya is greatly appreciated," Mnangagwa said.

Key Takeaways

  • Kenya pledges $1 million worth of maize to aid Zimbabwe's drought-induced food shortage.
  • Zimbabwe officially declared the drought a state of disaster, requiring over $2 billion in aid.
  • Kenya's aid emphasizes regional solidarity and the need for international support during crises.
  • Kenya's president criticized Western sanctions on Zimbabwe, claiming they hinder drought response.
  • Zimbabwe expressed gratitude for Kenya's maize donation, a gesture of mutual support between nations.