Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro on Monday led MPs from around the world in asking developed countries to help alleviate the suffering of millions in Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda due to famine and drought.
Speaking when he introduced a motion for debate at the ongoing Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Bangladesh, Mr Ethuro decried the slow response by the global community in addressing the humanitarian situation affecting 12.8 million people.
“The responsibilities of industrialised nations are brought into focus: they should mitigate climate change and support vulnerable countries to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change, especially food security,” said Ethuro.
The emergency motion is intended to draw attention to the urgent action needed to save millions from famine and drought in parts of Africa and Yemen. It was sponsored by Kenya, Belgium and the United Kingdom and had the support of The Africa Group and the 12 Plus Group, which brings together about 40 countries.
The motion was adopted for debate after garnering 932 votes against 136 opposing and 50 abstaining from voting. The meeting in Dhaka brings together about 700 lawmakers from 132 countries.
Mr Ethuro said the situation in East Africa and the Horn of Africa poses a serious threat to human dignity, regional peace, security and stability.
He argued that the developed countries should be at the forefront in terms of offering humanitarian support to the developing nations facing drought and famine since they emit largest amounts of greenhouse gases resultant to climate change.
He urged the intergovernmental organisation and the developed nations to commit necessary resources to provide humanitarian support and nutritional relief to critically affected areas in the Horn of Africa, as well as long-term development assistance.
The Senate Speaker however criticized them for offering lip service while having made commitments toward offering humanitarian support during the Parliamentary Forum at the 2nd High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPECD) held in Kenya in November 2016 and the Regional Seminar on the Sustainable Development Goals for the Parliaments of Sub-Saharan Africa held in Uganda in March this year.
Other members of Kenya’s delegation participating in IPU Committees include: David Pkosing (Pokot South, Jubilee), Susan Musyoka (Machakos Woman Rep, Wiper), Jude Njomo (Kiambu Town, Jubilee), Michael Onyura (Butula, Federal Party) and Leonard Sang (Bureti, Jubilee).