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Friday, 29 July 2011

FAO emergency meeting on the drought crisis in the horn of Africa

1.1 billion EUR are needed in the next twelve months to stop the famine in the Horn of Africa, said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf at an emergency meeting in Rome on Monday 25 July. At the meeting, the World Bank consented to disburse 348 million EUR to the poor in the Horn of Africa, while Germany and the Netherlands again increased their emergency aid by 15 million EUR and 6.5 million EUR. The Czech Republic committed 5 million CZK (210,000 EUR). The European Commission declared on Wednesday that it will increase its aid to Somalia by another 27,8 million EUR, meaning that it is contributing an overall 158 million EUR to fight against the hunger crisis.

The FAO highlighted that money was not only needed for emergency food aid but also to stop another drought from occurring. “If we want to avoid future famine and food insecurity crises in the region, countries and the international community urgently need to bolster the agricultural sector and accelerate investments in rural development,” said Diouf.

The international development organisation Oxfam stresses the need to not only relaunch agricultural production in Africa, but also to improve access to agricultural goods for the people. Ahead of the meeting, Oxfam had criticised European states for willfully ignoring the drought crisis at the Horn of Africa.

Source: CTA/FAO