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A.U. Pledges $46M For Horn Of Africa; USAID Official Discusses U.S. Response

At a meeting of the African Union (A.U.) in Ethiopia on Thursday, “African governments … pledged $46 million for the crisis in the Horn of Africa amid warnings that the emergency stretches far beyond hunger to encompass health, security and livelihood,” the Guardian reports. The amount fell short of the $50 million asked for by the aid group Africans Act 4 Africa, the newspaper adds, noting that “the African Development Bank announced a $300 million donation for long-term development in the Horn of Africa” (Tran, 8/25). Reuters reports that money is “to be spent over a four-year period, not to be used to bridge a $1.4 billion shortfall aid groups say they need for the emergency” (Malone, 8/26).

Speaking at the conference, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro “warn[ed] that the crisis stretches far beyond hunger to issues of health, protection and livelihood,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “If we do not respond, the consequences will reverberate for years. We will be asked how we stood by and watched a generation die, how we allowed a crisis to become a catastrophe, when we could have stopped it,” she said (8/25).

In an interview with the Washington Post, Nancy Lindborg, head of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian at USAID, discussed how the agency is spending the $581.6 million in emergency aid that the U.S. has provided for the situation this year. She said USAID is procuring emergency food aid, providing health and sanitation assistance, helping families purchase food through a voucher program and strengthening community resiliency through agricultural and livestock programs. “The concern now is what happens with the rains due in the fall. Because people and animals are already so weakened, rains could actually create additional emergency conditions — pneumonia or increasing sanitation problems,” she added (Asokan, 8/25).