US announces US$524M for Horn of Africa drought, climate crisis
The United States announced at a UN conference on Wednesday nearly US$524 million in additional humanitarian aid for the Horn of Africa that aims to put a spotlight on the extreme effects of climate change and the worst drought in the region in 40 years – and the need for more than US$5 billion.
Near the start of the conference, Germany announced a pledge of €210 million (US$226 million) and the United Kingdom pledged US$119 million for Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
The UN has appealed for US$7 billion and has received just US$1.6 billion – far from enough to help the 43.3 million people in need of assistance in the three Horn of Africa countries or even just the 21 million among them who don’t have access to enough food.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told would-be donors at the conference to make an immediate and major injection of funding to prevent the crisis caused by drought, mass displacement after years of conflict and skyrocketing food prices “from turning into catastrophe”.
The United States is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to the region, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told the pledging conference that the US$524 million in new funds will bring the total US humanitarian contribution to the region to US$1.4 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30.
Germany’s UN Ambassador Antje Leendertse told the conference the €210 million in humanitarian aid for the three countries doesn’t include substantial funding “for development and stabilisation” in the Horn of Africa.
UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell said the country’s total pledge on Wednesday also includes US$27 million for Sudan, US$23 million for South Sudan and US$9 million for Uganda, taking it up to US$178 million.
When America’s Thomas-Greenfield visited the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in September, she said she heard first-hand “how the drought impacted the food supply and the increased potential for famine” and announced more than US$40 million in additional funding for the country.