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U.N. Emergency Meeting Recognizes Need For Urgent Response To Horn Of Africa Drought

At an emergency meeting at the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday, the agency announced “there will be a donors pledging conference Wednesday in Nairobi to raise as much as $1.6 billion to help fight famine in Somalia and other drought-stricken populations in East Africa,” the Associated Press/Forbes reports (7/25). Prior to the meeting, the World Bank “announced it is providing more than $500 million to assist drought victims, in addition to $12 million in immediate assistance to help those worst hit by the crisis,” a World Bank press release states (7/25).

IRIN Examines Issues Surrounding Implementation Of National Drought Policies

“There is quite a leap to be made between a country’s declared intent to draw up a drought policy and actually making it happen on the ground,” according to “several participants at the recent High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy in Geneva,” IRIN reports. “Drought is the world’s costliest natural…

Blog Examines Survival Of Feed The Future Initiative Under Sequestration

“While the [Feed the Future] program took a few years to get off the ground, and is probably not all that well known to the public, it is a favorite of USAID Administrator Raj Shah — and also a go-to program budget hawks now want to cut back,” development blogger…

Drought, Flooding In Haiti Leading To Increase In Malnutrition, U.N. Report Says

“A growing number of people in Haiti do not have enough to eat, according to the United Nations relief wing, mostly as a result of drought and the impact of recent tropical storms,” the U.N. News Centre reports (4/3). The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs “said in its monthly…

Post-2015 Must Address Poverty, Food Security

Mark Suzman, managing director for international policy, programs and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, “Last week saw two key events related to the Millennium Development Goals: the kickoff on April 5 of an ambitious global campaign focused on accelerating progress over the…

Blogs, Press Releases Respond To Obama Administration’s FY14 Budget Request

The Obama administration on Wednesday released its FY 2014 budget request, including funding for U.S. global health activities and proposed changes to the U.S. food aid program. The following is a summary of blog posts and press releases addressing the request. Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, “ModernizeAid” blog: The blog provides…

Emergency Humanitarian Response In Horn Of Africa Must Shift To Community Development

Though emergency humanitarian assistance has helped keep people alive in the Horn of Africa, “this effort is not sustainable,” David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada, writes in a Globe and Mail opinion piece. “Trucking in water and flying in food and medicine save lives, but we must rethink the way aid agencies operate in the region. We need to blend the immediate life-saving effort with creative longer-term community development … and involve everyone affected by the crisis. Farmers, herders, refugees and displaced people, local communities and government officials have valuable insights that a massive humanitarian response all too often overlooks,” he continues.

Gates Foundation Provides Funding For Relief Efforts In Horn Of Africa

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “on Tuesday announced a $2.5 million grant to Mercy Corps to fund relief and longer-term recovery efforts in drought-stricken Wajir County on Kenya’s border with Somalia,” representing “more than 40 percent of the $5.4 million in private funds that Mercy Corps has raised to date for Horn of Africa relief efforts,” the Seattle Times reports. The Gates Foundation on Tuesday also “announced a $1.6 million grant to International Medical Corps to provide emergency food assistance and to help improve health, hygiene and sanitation in northern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia,” the newspaper writes (Bernton, 10/18).

Climate Change Could Be Detrimental To Global Health, Conference Attendees Say

Environmental health experts, scientists and government officials attending a conference in London sponsored by the British Medical Journal on Monday “issued a statement warning that climate change could not only bring a global health catastrophe but could threaten global stability and security as well, a journal release said,” UPI.com reports (10/17).

UNICEF Calls For Additional Resources To Fight Hunger, Famine In Somalia

Though the humanitarian response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa has lessened the suffering of thousands of people in the region, “more resources are needed to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in famine-hit areas of Somalia, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said” in a progress report released Thursday, the U.N. News Centre reports. Releasing the report, Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, “called for the scaling up of integrated interventions in health, nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, education and child protection,” according to the news service (10/20).