[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): World Bank boosts Horn of Africa aid to $1.88 bln

[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): World Bank boosts Horn of Africa aid to $1.88 bln

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 14:56:31 +0200

World Bank boosts Horn of Africa aid to $1.88 bln

Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:54am GMT

* Drought, hunger grip Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, others

* UN chief says $700 million more still needed this year

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The World Bank said on Saturday it was more
than tripling funding to $1.88 billion for a worsening drought in Horn of
Africa countries affecting more than 13 million people.

The funding is boosted from around $500 million the World Bank announced in

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the financing would help fill a $1
billion funding gap needed to tackle drought and a food crisis engulfing
parts of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Uganda.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a conference on
the Horn of Africa famine that around $700 million was still needed for this
year alone. "Next year we will need more," he added.

The United Nations had estimated that some $2.4 billion in aid was needed
for immediate drought relief assistance. While international appeals have
drawn $1.4 billion in donor pledges, a gap remains.

Somalia is at the epicenter of the hunger crisis. The United Nations has
said about 750,000 people face imminent starvation in Somalia, where the al
Qaeda-affiliated rebel group al Shabaab controls much of the south and will
not allow food shipments.

Zoellick said the World Bank funding would be allocated in three phases
following initial needs assessments conducted by bank experts in Djibouti,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somali refugee camps and Uganda.

He made clear that the bulk of the funding was for long-term measures to aid
resistance to drought, with just $288 million going for "rapid response"
relief in the fiscal year ending next June 30.

"In addressing today's disaster, our role is to help build resilience for
tomorrow. A humanitarian crisis need not and should not become a perpetual
crisis," he said in a statement.

At the United Nations, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odings became the first
leader attending the annual General Assembly gathering to sign a charter
drafted by a coalition of aid agencies outlining actions to stop widespread

They included early warning of famines, support for local food production,
stockpiling emergency food reserves and limiting the use of food export
bans, building social safety nets and engaging in vigorous diplomacy to end

Irish rock singer Bob Geldof, a longtime activist for famine relief, told
reporters, "Is it (the charter) going to shift the world on its axis? No. Is
it going to give it a little nudge? Absolutely."

C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved


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