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$1.6 Billion Needed for Horn of Africa Relief

.6 Billion Needed for Horn of Africa Relief

On Monday, the UN’s Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) convened over 200 delegates, representing the 191 countries who are members of FAO, as well as NGO representatives, to discuss a a two-track plan for immediate relief to over 12 million people in the Horn of Africa region.  Part of the action plan was also mapped out goals for long-term food security measures reflecting the food producing practices of region’s people.

Read a full summary of the action plan and the points agreed to by the delegates.

Prior to the meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used an Op-Ed in Los Angeles Times to plea to governments and the public to join the relief efforts.

“That is why I reach out today: to focus global attention on this crisis, to sound the alarm and to call on the world’s people to help Somalia in this moment of greatest need. To save the lives of the people at risk — the vast majority of them women and children — we need about $1.6 billion in aid. So far, international donors have given only half that amount. To turn the tide, to offer hope in the name of our common humanity, we must mobilize worldwide.

This means everyone. I appeal to all nations — both those that fund our work year in and year out, and those that do not traditionally give through the multinational system — to step up to the challenge.”

A donor conference is scheduled for Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya, intended to coordinate pledges of a needed $1.6 billion for drought and famine relief for the remainder of the year.  At Monday’s meeting in Rome, the World Bank pledged $500 million toward this effort.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the relief response was a planned airlift earlier today by the World Food Programme (WFP) into areas most affected by the drought, including southern Somalia, eastern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.  Logistical problems, however, have delayed these relief flights until Wednesday.

Posted by Michael Lucivero.

Photo credit: IOL Online/Reuters