Aug. 11 - The U.S. increases aid for famine relief to the Horn of Africa, with $12-million earmarked for Somalia. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. will give an additional 17 million U.S. dollars in aid for Horn of Africa countries struck by famine, including 12 million dollars to help Somalis. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying: (English) " On Monday, President Obama announced that in light of the current crisis, we are making available an additional 105 million dollars in emergency funding. Today I'm announcing another 17 million on top of that, with 12 million designed specifically for helping the people of Somalia. That brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to the region to more than 580 million dollars this year. We are reaching more than 4.6 million people with this aid." In an address to the International Food Policy research Institute, Clinton described the situation in East Africa. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying: (English) "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." More than 12 million people have been affected by the worst drought in decades in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia. About 3.6 million people in Somalia are at risk of starvation. The worst hit areas are controlled by al Shabaab militants, who have prevented aid from getting to people. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying: (English) "I once again urge al Shabaab to heed the calls not only of the international community, including the Arab league, but of the cries of their own people, and allow the secure delivery of relief to all those who are afflicted." The rebels, who have waged a four-year insurgency against Somalia's Western-backed government, withdrew from Mogadishu over the weekend, opening the way for life-saving food aid to get to an estimated 100,000 people in need. UNICEF, estimates that across southern Somalia, some 640,000 children are severely malnourished. The new funding announced by Clinton brings the amount of humanitarian aid being provided to Somalis by the United States to 92 million U.S. dollars. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters