The world must step in over drought

August 11, 2011 3:37 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11– A visiting delegation from the United States wants rich nations that are not regular donors to support the Horn of Africa as it struggles with harsh drought conditions.

This comes in the wake of a proposal by US congress to have budget cuts in the United States which would in effect affect aid coming into third world countries.

Ambassador Ertharin Cousin said on Thursday that the entire global community should respond to the current crisis that had left an estimated 11.5 million people in the horn of Africa facing starvation.

“We as the United States continue to support foreign assistance and particularly food assistance. But it is also important that we have assistance from other governments as well. This is a situation that didn’t occur when the camera turned on and what we need to ensure is that the United States continues to play its role and provide support,” she said.

A retired US Congressman Tony Hall expressed concerns over the intended budget cuts while World Food Programme’s Stanlake Sankange said they were now able to provide relief assistance to areas they previously could not in Somalia.

“This aid is really helping, this aid is working, this aid is getting through,” said Ambassador Hall.

“Even in some of the most difficult and inaccessible areas, we haven’t given up. We are still looking at a variety of options and we are working through partners who may have access to those areas to provide assistance,” the WFP representative stated.

He however said that the situation in Mogadishu was more complex despite the Al Shabaab having withdrawn from the Somali capital.

“Security has not yet been established throughout the city,” he stated.

The team will travel to Dadaab camp, the largest in the world on Friday to assess the situation.


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