Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Government pledges Africa food aid

The Government has pledged 400,000 euro in emergency aid for food rations in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa

The Government has pledged 400,000 euro in emergency aid for food rations in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.

The donation will be given through aid agency Concern to feed 10,000 people most at risk of starvation in Somalia and 1,800 malnourished children.

About 12 million people are facing famine in the region because of the worst drought in the region in decades and escalating food prices.

Junior minister Jan O'Sullivan said a total of 4.4m euro in emergency funding from Irish Aid to the region so far this year.

Eleven members of the Government's rapid response corps have deployed to the Horn of Africa to work with humanitarian agencies.

"The Government has been closely monitoring the situation in the Horn of Africa for a number of months," said Ms O'Sullivan said.

"The region is experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today. There has been a prolonged drought, and at least two seasonal rains have failed.

"More than 10 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda face severe food shortages".

Some 2.6 million euro was previously was allocated to Concern, Trocaire, Goal and World Vision for emergency food, water, sanitation and healthcare, with another 1.5 million euro provided to the United Nations in Somalia for distribution to humanitarian agencies operating in that country.

Elsewhere the Government took the decision allowing for formal recognition of Republic of South Sudan.

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