Africa to pledge funds for drought crisis

2011-08-23 11:12
Addis Ababa - African leaders will meet on Thursday to pledge funds to tackle the famine in Somalia and extreme drought across the Horn of Africa which are putting millions of people at risk of starvation.

African Union Commission chairperson Jean Ping will appeal to the continents' leaders and the international community to assist more than 12 million drought-hit people in the region, during a pledging conference in the Ethiopian capital.

"[I] wish to make this clarion call to all Africans to... act out against hunger by providing both cash and in-kind support for urgent life-saving assistance to our brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa," Ping said in a statement.

Some 12.4 million people in the Horn of Africa, including parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda, are affected by the worst drought in decades in the region and are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

The demands are huge, with a $1.1bn shortfall from a total $2.4bn needed, according to UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).

Somalia is the worst hit, with several southern regions in famine, where more than 390 000 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition, according to Ocha.

The UN has described Somalia, where a civil war has been going on since 1991, as facing the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world.

Solidarity

The conference will be attended by the AU representative to Somalia and former Ghanaian president, Jerry Rawlings, as well as the deputy secretary general of the United Nations, Asha Rose Migiro, AU spokesperson Nabo Sene told AFP.

"African countries should be proactive in addressing the drought situation in the affected states," the AU said in a statement.

The conference will give a "concrete expression of solidarity" from other African nations and the drought-hit regions, it added.

Also expected to attend are leaders of African economic blocs and heads of state from East Africa's Intergovernmental Authority on Development, which includes Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.

But a pan-African fundraising campaign, Africans Act 4 Africa, has criticised African governments and the AU for not responding quickly enough to the crisis.

"The overall international donor response to this humanitarian crisis has been slow and inadequate," the organisation said in a statement.

"Contributions [have been] too modest to decisively change the conditions for the millions who need this support."

Organisers of the campaign said the African community should offer a minimum of $50m to relief efforts. The African Union has so far pledged $500 000.

Preventable catastrophe

"This was a preventable catastrophe. It is an extreme example of our broken food system. Droughts may be inevitable in this region, but disasters are not," the coalition of civil society groups that make up the fundraising campaign added.

"Decades of marginalisation, neglect and under-investment in pastoralists and smallholder food producers, many of them women, have contributed to the current crisis."

Last week the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation pledged $350 million to assist drought-struck Somalis.

Ping was in Mogadishu last Saturday, where he met with famine victims and called for a strengthening of the Djibouti Accord and the Kampala Accord, which call for peace in the country.

Relief agencies have boosted aid delivery to the affected population, but insecurity in one of the world's most dangerous countries is hobbling a wider reach.

Last week Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured Mogadishu on the first visit to the war-torn city by a major leader in almost 20 years, calling the situation in Somalia "a problem for all humanity".

Read more on:    au  |  kenya  |  djibouti  |  somalia  |  uganda  |  ethiopia  |  east africa  |  africa drought  |  east africa hunger
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Newlands - 15:47 PM
    Road name: M3 Southbound
    DELAYS approaching Wynberg Hill
  • Wednesday Milnerton - 13:26 PM
    Road name: Koeberg Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Racecourse Road - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nintendo Wii Console

Featuring a remarkable wireless controller experience, the Nintendo Wii console...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.