EU gives extra $40 mln to African drought victims

Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:22pm GMT
 

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's executive will increase funding for victims of the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, the EU's crisis chief said on Wednesday after visiting Kenya and Somalia.

Kristalina Georgieva said the European Commission would immediately give a further 28 million euros on top of the 70 million euros it has given the region this year. EU governments have made further donations.

The United Nations has declared a famine in two regions of Somalia and said it may spread further.

Years of conflict in southern Somalia have exacerbated the emergency, preventing aid agencies from helping communities. Nearly 135,000 Somalis have fled since January, mainly to neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia.

"This unprecedented crisis in the Horn of Africa calls for an unprecedented response," Georgieva said after visiting Kenya's Dadaab camp, which shelters 400,000 people.

"On top of the new funding of 27.8 million euros, I have started the process to mobilise another 60 million euros to alleviate the suffering of so many people," she added. "This will bring our response to nearly 158 million euros."

The World Food Programme says it needs an extra $360 million in urgent funds. Oxfam says that overall another $1 billion is needed to handle the situation.

An internally displaced woman holds her malnourished son at the Banadir hospital in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, July 22, 2011. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
 
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