Monday, August 8, 2011

President Obama Announces $105 Million In Aid For Horn Of Africa Famine Relief

Dr. Jill Biden is leading Presidential delegation to Africa, joined by Sen. Bill Frist & Rajiv Shah...
President Obama on Monday designated $105 million for urgent humanitarian relief efforts for the Horn of Africa region, including $10 million in funds from his Emergency Relief and Migration Assistance Fund.

"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," Press Secretary Jay Carney said when announcing the President's aid package. Dr. Jill Biden is currently in Kenya, leading the Presidential delegation to the region. On Monday, she visited the Dagahaley Refugee Complex for Somalian famine victims in Dabaab, Kenya, accompanied by former Senator Bill Frist and USAID Director Rajiv Shah. (At top: Biden and Frist at the camp)

"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," Carney said.

In 2011, the U.S. has provided approximately $565 million in humanitarian assistance, according to Carney.

"U.S. assistance will continue funding the urgently needed food, health, shelter, water and sanitation assistance to those who desperately need help," Carney said.

Dr. Biden is also traveling with Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith. On Monday she met with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and also visited the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in Nairobi, to discuss the US Feed the Future initiative.

*Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

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