Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Ferry disaster, nuclear test fears cloud Obama’s South Korea trip

    Read more

  • US warns Russia against making ‘expensive mistake’ in Ukraine

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • French policemen accused of raping Canadian woman

    Read more

  • Internet should stay free of government intervention, conference says

    Read more

  • A radio station defends peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • Fresh clashes in Rio over dancer's death

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

Africa

AU raises $351 million to fight famine, drought in East Africa

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-26

The African Union raised $351 million to fight famine and drought in East Africa at a summit Thursday. Despite the AU’s efforts, humanitarian groups and activists have said that the sum falls short of the $1.4 billion needed to tackle the emergency.

 REUTERS - A much-delayed African Union summit held to raise money to tackle famine in Somalia and drought in the Horn of Africa held on Thursday raised $351 million officials said, but activists questioned the figure.

Out of the $351 million announced by Jean Ping, chairman of the AU commission, $300 million came from the African Development Bank, 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.
 
About 12 million people need emergency food across the “triangle of death” region, straddling Somalia - where famine was declared in five regions - Kenya and Ethiopia.
 
“This is what we pledged today,” said Ping. “It is new money and it is exclusively African.”
 
Of the remaining $51 million announced, many of the donations appear to have been announced before and donations came from less than half of the AU’s 54 members.
 
“We counted about $46 million in cash pledges,” Irungu Houghton, pan Africa policy director for aid group Oxfam, told Reuters.
 
“Just 21 countries made pledges out of 54 and, of the $46 million, $20 million came from three states - Algeria, Angola, and Egypt.”
 
Activists singled out Africa’s economic powerhouses Nigeria and South Africa for criticism after Nigeria pledged just $2 million and South Africa’s figure of $10 million was questioned.
 
“In the case of South Africa, they actually seem to have contributed about $1 million dollars if you actually strip it to cash value, Houghton said.
 
“Expected better”
 
African activists and political commentators took to social media to lambast the fact that only four heads of state—from Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea—attended the summit.
 
Jerry Rawlings, former president of Ghana and now AU representative for Somalia, told Reuters he had “expected better”.
 
Many aid experts, analysts and diplomats had said they expected little from an organisation that has often been perceived as toothless and has seen its funding battered by the absence of its main financier, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
 
Speakers, including Ping, acknowledged the criticisms but said they needed time to prepare and that they had already donated money.
 
Kenya and Ethiopia won praise at the summit from leaders and activists for dealing with an influx of Somali refugees fleeing a prolonged conflict that aid experts say has worsened the impact of a bad drought and led to famine.
 
Analysts say African governments’ repeated pleas of poverty when asked for donations, rings hollow with several economies now oil-rich and others seeing double-digit growth over the past five years.
 
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the situation in the refugee camps was dire and that Somalis need to be given aid in their own country despite most of the regions affected being under the control of the Islamist al Shabaab rebel group.
 
Meles said Ethiopia would buy 300,000 tons of wheat to replenish its food reserves.
 
Some ordinary Africans, frustrated by their governments’ reaction to the crisis, have stepped in and set up impromptu fundraising groups across the continent.
 
One of those, Africans Act 4 Africa, had urged countries to donate a “proportional” share based on their economies, saying a $50 million pledge was the least that should be given but that $100 million would have shown a serious commitment.
 
“It’s an important step in the right direction,” European Union commission for humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva, told Reuters.
 
“Africa is now taking on the problems it faces. This is the first such summit held by a young organization with little humanitarian experience and a small but dedicated team. It will improve in the future.”

 

Date created : 2011-08-26

  • SOMALIA

    On patrol with the Somali National Army

    Read more

  • SOMALIA

    Refugees face stark choice between safety and food aid

    Read more

  • KENYA

    Aid 'too little, too late' for famine victims in Kenya

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)