Clinton announces additional US aid to fight famine in Horn of Africa
Somali women and children with food aid at a caomp in Mogadishu Photo by: AFP/Getty Images
August 11th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

Clinton announces additional US aid to fight famine in Horn of Africa

By Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott

An additional $17 million in U.S. aid will go to combat the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, with $12 million designated specifically for helping the people in Somalia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Thursday.

Clinton made the announcement during a speech to the International Food Policy Research Institute, where she spoke on U.S. efforts to not just feed starving people, but also address issues of long-term food security, which could help avoid another crisis.

The money is on top of the $105 million in emergency U.S. funding President Barack Obama announced Monday, and brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to the region to more than $580 million this year, Clinton said.

"What is happening in the Horn of Africa is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today and the worst that East Africa has seen in several decades," she said.

Clinton said the United States, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and donor governments "are racing to save as many lives as possible."

She noted that because of the Famine Early Warning System Network, which monitors drought and crop conditions and alerts governments and aid groups when crises are coming, the international community was able to preposition some food since last September, thereby somewhat lessening the impact of the drought.

"But a great deal more must be done and it must be done fast," Clinton said. "Famine conditions in Somalia are likely to get worse before they level off."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Realist

    I agree with some of the statements here. The U.S. cannot continue like this. We are 'helping' these people with BORROWED money! We can't help anyone, unless we can first help ourselves. Should these people die, while we go to Starbucks? No. The White House needs to ask more from Americans, and I don't mean taxes. People need to be made aware of the gravity of the situation our country is in, and take pride in their towns. Just like in WWI and WWII, the entire country needs to plant gardens, and bring a percentage of the food to central canning facilities. Employers need to donate employee time for this and other projects. Teach people how to be sustainable through local newspapers, TV, and free workshops. Heavily tax things like plastic disposable items, which put too much of a burden on our counties' resources, and outlaw plastic shopping bags. We need to put people to work by brining our infrastructure to a modern, A+ rating! Borrowing money to give away, no matter what the cause, is an attack on the American people, and it needs to stop. Repair our country, Mr. President, so we are again able to help people in need like this.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  2. Chris

    How can one even begin to compare the famine and starvation happening in the Horn of Africa with the conditions in the United States? Despite the current economic troubles we are facing, how can we turn our backs on the 2.3 million children who are currently malnourished (500,000 of whom are at imminent risk of death)? Do we ignore them simply because they had the misfortune of being born into that region of the world?

    Should the rest of the world's economic powers step to the plate and increase the amount of aid they're contributing? Absolutely. Should we try to curb the incomprehensible amount of money our government is spending every day? Without a doubt. Should we look for ways to provide sustainable ways to address the chronic problems of drought and famine that plague this region. Yes. But I don't think any of these issues should prevent us from doing what is right - namely helping those who are on the brink of starvation.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  3. a logical thinker

    Couldn't agree more with Sean Arnold. How is this still happening? Wouldn't it be cool if we first fed our own hungry, and get jobs for our own citizens in our own country so that we can actually afford to help out the more needy countries of the world. We can't just keep giving away what we don't have.

    August 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  4. Had enough

    This is ridiculous. I am very sorry for these people and do encourage helping others, but I also believe that we should take
    care of ourselves and our own with OUR OWN money, then help out with what we can. We are already tooooo far
    under to be sending more millions to other countries. Why doesn't China send the money directly to Africa, and leave
    the US out of it?

    August 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  5. Sean Arnold

    Granted this is a sad sad story, But as long as we keep sending millions and millions of dollars around the globe of money that we are borrowing, We are going to be the sad sad story. Lets see if we can figure this out. We are in debt, So we are borrowing money from China, And then sending it to Africa? Someone Please correct me if I'm wrong here, But why are we borrowing money and giving it away to other country's

    August 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  6. dimon

    You feed'em and in return they shot down our helycopters and kill our soldiers. Send'em more condoms instead!

    August 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  7. writingmomma

    I don't have a problem with helping other countries feed the many children they keep bringing into an already dire situation. What I have a problem with is, the United States Government continuously sending monies to countries to feed their hungry, while programs are being cut here in the U.S. to feed our hungry. HYPOCRITS!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply

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