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U.S. Officials Pledge Continuing Support For Solutions To Hunger In Africa; Oxfam Calls For Action Against Emerging Hunger In Sahel

“U.S. officials pledged Thursday to work for permanent solutions to ease hunger in the Horn of Africa, warning that Somalia remained a major crisis even though its famine is officially over,” Agence France-Presse reports. Testifying before a congressional commission on human rights, Nancy Lindborg, USAID assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, “said that the United States and other major donors would meet in Kenya in late March to support longer-term Horn of Africa plans,” according to the news agency. She added, “We cannot afford to let people slide into crisis every couple of years and respond with massive humanitarian assistance,” AFP reports. According to Lindborg, the U.S. “provided $935 million during the crisis, ensuring direct food assistance to 4.6 million people and emergency health care for nearly one million more,” the news agency notes (3/8).

Meanwhile, the humanitarian group Oxfam on Friday warned that “[a] dangerous combination of drought, high food prices, reduced harvests, poverty and conflict are driving an emerging crisis across several nations including Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and northern Senegal,” Agence France-Presse reports in a separate article (3/7). “According to figures published by the U.N. last week, more than 13 million people are at risk of hunger in the Sahel, with more than 10 million now considered food-insecure,” and “[m]ore than one million children are at risk of severe malnutrition,” the Guardian writes, adding that Oxfam “launched a $36.3 million emergency appeal for west Africa on Friday” (Ford, 3/9).

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