Note: See update below - -
U.S. To Assist Famined Somalia
Dr. Jill Biden has arrived in Kenya with Senator Bill Frist, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz, and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith. Dr. Biden’s trip will underscore the United States’ commitment to working with the governments and people of the region, and the international community, to assist the people of the Horn of Africa during this urgent time of need, and to investing in long-term solutions to hunger and food insecurity in the region. Amid the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years, the United Nations has declared that famine now affects five regions in Somalia and predicts that famine could soon expand throughout southern Somalia.
Thousands of Somalis are fleeing the famine and seeking refuge in Kenya and Ethiopia, which are also affected by the drought. According to the United Nations, more than 12.4 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Dr. Biden will visit the Dadaab Refugee Complex, which is receiving thousands of Somali refugees, to draw the world’s attention to the crisis and pledge U.S. support for relief operations.
Dr. Biden will also highlight the support of the United States for development efforts across the region, and will visit the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Nairobi. During this visit, Dr. Biden will meet with government of Kenya officials, including Minister of Agriculture Hon. Dr. Sally J. Kosgei, and highlight the Obama-Biden Administration’s Feed the Future program, which is investing in country-led strategies designed to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity around the world. Because emergency assistance alone cannot solve the underlying food insecurity in the region, institutions like KARI and Feed the Future are also critical at this time.
While in the region, Dr. Biden will also meet with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to highlight the ongoing partnership between our countries and to discuss how the United States can work with international partners on the best response to this crisis.
The United Nations declared famine in parts of Somalia, a classification defined by mortality rates greater than two people per 10,000 per day across a specific region.
Somali famine called 'worse humanitarian castostrophe ever'. Somalia needs our help.
Somali militants, even with help from organizations like Care and others willing to provide famine relief and assistance to the Somalia region, continues to block those efforts.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday called on Somalia's al-Shabaab militants to allow food aid to move "unfettered" into famine-hit areas so that as many lives as possible can be saved.
Crisis in the Horn of Africa: Somalia Needs Your Help
Action Against Hunger | ACF-USA.
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Today, on behalf of the U.S. Government and the American people, the President Obama has approved an additional $105 million for urgent humanitarian relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, including funds from his Emergency Relief and Migration Assistance Fund. This year alone, the U.S. has provided approximately $565 million in humanitarian assistance. U.S. assistance will continue funding the urgently needed food, health, shelter, water and sanitation assistance to those who desperately need help.
(Statement by Press Secretary Jay Carney, today)
August 11, 2001 Update --- Jill Biden's USA Today Opt Ed