Sanday Chongo Kabange in Berlin, Germany
The United States government has dished out an extra US$28 million in aid for the millions of people in the Horn of Africa facing severe hunger, drought and displacement.
The Horn of Africa has been plunged into one of the worst droughts in decades and this has left millions in dire need of emergency aid while more others have been forced to migrate to neighbouring countries like Kenya and Ethiopia.
The eastern Horn of Africa is prone to chronic food insecurity that has been exacerbated by a two-year drought. Crops have failed, livestock have been dying and food prices are skyrocketing to the extent that acute famine has gripped the region with the elderly and children being the main casualties.
Scientists and researchers are yet to confirm whether the protracted drought that has rocked the Horn of Africa is as a result of weather upswings influenced by climate change and global warming.
U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in a news release, the United States of America was deeply concerned by the humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa and the ongoing spread of famine into southern Somalia.
The United States is one of the largest bilateral donors of emergency assistance to the eastern Horn of Africa.
“We have already responded with over US$383 million in food and non-food emergency assistance this year alone. But it is not enough — the need is only expected to increase and more must be done by the United States and the international community. That is why the United States government is providing an additional $28 million dollars in aid for people in Somalia and for Somali refugees in Kenya,” said Clinton.
The United States, in close coordination with the international community, is working to assist more than 11 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, who are in extreme need of assistance.
“In Somalia, twenty years without a central government and the relentless terrorism by al-Shabaab against its own people has turned an already severe situation into a dire one that is expected to continue to decline. Nonetheless, we remain cautiously optimistic that al Shabaab will permit unimpeded international assistance in famine struck areas,” added Clinton.
She has since called for combined and aggressive efforts in ensuring that a quicker lasting solution was found.
She said, “The United States cannot address the crisis in the Horn alone. All donors in the international community must commit to taking additional steps to tackle both immediate assistance needs and strengthen capacity in the region to respond to future crises”.
Reports out of the Horn of Africa say the hunger situation in the region is far widespread than was earlier anticipated by international humanitarian agencies and the United Nations.