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Helping to Avert Famine in Horn of Africa

(FILE) A child from Kenya affected by the worsening drought due to failed rain seasons, sleeps under a tree.

Nearly 32 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in dire need of lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance.

Helping to Avert Famine in Horn of Africa
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The United States is aggressively working to help avert a famine in the Horn of Africa.

“Right now, a storm of crises has pushed millions across the Horn of Africa to the brink,” said U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “A long, protracted drought has exacerbated acute food insecurity. Recent flash floods have wiped out entire homes and livelihoods. And conflict in neighboring countries has also had a devastating impact on vulnerable populations, including internally displaced persons and refugees.”

Nearly 32 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in dire need of lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance, according to the United Nations. In late May, the United Nations, along with the governments of the United States, Italy, Qatar, and the United Kingdom, convened a High-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in the Horn of Africa, with the aim of raising 7 billion dollars for aid to these three countries.

“In a world abundant with food, entire communities should never, never starve to death. Never,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “I am proud to announce that the United States will provide nearly 524 million dollars in additional assistance to respond to dire humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa. Today’s announcement brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for response efforts to more than 1.4 billion dollars in fiscal year 2023.”

That said, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stressed that acting to avert the famine looming over so many in the Horn of Africa is a collective responsibility. "This is a global problem that requires all of us … But I want to be clear: right now, the global community is simply not meeting the moment.”

“Humanitarian response efforts are grossly underfunded, often making the availability of assistance too unpredictable,” she said. “And without a comprehensive approach to humanitarian assistance, we are often left reacting to crises, especially those caused by climate change.”

“It is within our power to prevent imminent famine; to treat women and children for malnutrition; to provide access to food, water, sanitation, hygiene services, and health care to the most vulnerable; and to meet other essential needs,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “In 2023, there is no reason we can’t get resources to people in acute need.”