$130m needed in Horn of Africa
Rome - At least $130m is needed in urgent humanitarian assistance to tackle the famine in the Horn of Africa, international agricultural experts on Thursday told the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The 191-member FAO had called the meeting as a follow up to the emergency conference of agriculture ministers on July 25.
More than 12 million people in the region were facing starvation because of the worst drought in 60 years. The hardest-hit countries were Somalia (with more than 3.5 million people who urgently need help), Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.
It was unacceptable - given the financial resources, technology and experts available - that today more than 12 million people are at the risk of starvation, said the FAO's director, Jacques Diouf.
The participants agreed on the twin measures of emergency aid and long-term investments for sustained and equitable agricultural growth and rural development to prevent future famines.
Other steps agreed on were financial support for poor families in light of rising food prices; better supply of seeds to farmers; protecting the needs of herders by improved access to shelter, water, fodder and feed; vaccination of livestock, better storage and distribution of water resources.
The African Union is to meet next week in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to mobilise additional financial assistance.