Record Hunger in Horn of Africa Pushes Development Banks to Step In

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Malnourished babies are held by their mothers, both of whom fled the drought in southern Somalia, at a feeding center in a camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 25, 2017.

With a record-breaking 26.5 million people going hungry in the Horn of Africa, development banks are increasing their humanitarian funding to fill a gap left by traditional donors, a high-level mission said on Tuesday.

Food rations for 7.8 million Ethiopians are due to run out in July due to funding shortages, while neighboring Somalia is on the verge of its second famine in six years.

In an unprecedented move, the World Bank is giving $50 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to distribute emergency food, water and cash in Somalia.

“We are demonstrating not just that we appreciate the kind of pressure that Somalia is facing but the importance of the humanitarian and development actors working together,” said Mahmoud Mohieldin, a senior World Bank official.

Consecutive failed rains have led to widespread crop failures, hurting farmers and livestock herders across the region, many of whom are hungry and on the move in search of grazing, water and work.

The African Development Bank (ADB) has also announced $1.1 billion to combat drought in six countries, mostly in the Horn of Africa.

Officials from the U.N., World Bank, ADB and African Union held a news conference in Nairobi after meeting displaced people in Ethiopia’s Somali region and Somalia’s Gedo region.

The greatest needs are in Ethiopia, where numbers are predicted to rise due to poor spring rains, and South Sudan, where 5.5 million people are short of food, with some areas already in famine, the U.N. says.

“We have both the biggest food insecurity crisis and the biggest displacement crisis this region has ever faced,” said Dirk-Jan Omtzigt, an analyst with the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nairobi.

The number of refugees and asylum seekers in East Africa has almost tripled to 4.3 million since 2011, he said, driven by conflict, climate change and economic shocks like falling livestock prices during drought.

In a “Grand Bargain,” struck at last year’s World Humanitarian Summit, donors promised to make their funding more flexible to respond to growing humanitarian crises globally.

The World Bank has started funding humanitarians to deliver aid in countries like Somalia and Yemen, where a rapid response is needed but conflict has weakened governments’ ability to reach needy populations, Mohieldin said.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Subject: Record Hunger in Horn of Africa Pushes Development Banks to Step In, Jun 14, 2017

    Commentary, 14 June 2017
    IT IS A BROKEN RECORD, playing ad nausea at the expense of the seemingly everlasting hungry people of Africa. Millions and millions and millions of dollars are tooted to be out not to help the African people but to feed the ever increasing high fluting international schemers in the name of the African beggars. Don’t worry, there are ‘convenient’ and continuous dissemination of photos (the shocking the better) on our TV screens so that the employment of highly paid international multitude organizations are well fed and assured of employment and benefits for Life – at the expense of the miserable African poor people.

    It is estimated that over eighty percent (over 80%) of all the money collected by international organizations goes for salary and benefits of their employees; more than fifteen percent (more than 15%) for operational expenses ; leaving a meager share of less than five percent (less than 5%) for the poor, everlasting degraded, wretched Africans >>>and this is being generous!!! After all, we are talking about the people of the Dark Continent of Africa.

    And where are the highly educated African Intellectuals, holders of Doctor of Philosophy Degrees from Ivy League Western Universities? Shouldn’t they ‘roll their sleeves up’ and helping their own poor people of Africa? Is it possible that they are also part and parcel of the international scheme of helping ‘thyself’ first and throwing the crumbs to the poor hungry people of their own brethren? It is just a question out of curiosity – NOT to rock the boat, as the saying goes! THE END.

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