US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged global donors on Wednesday to commit extra funds to help more than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa hit by the worst drought in 60 years.
“The United States cannot solve the crisis in the Horn alone,” Clinton said, announcing an additional $28 million in aid for Somalia on top of more than $430 million in US assistance sent to the region this year.
“The need is only expected to increase and more must be done by the United States and the international community,” she said in a statement released during a visit to India.
A poor rainy season coupled with rising food prices have led to severe food shortages in countries including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.
Cattle and sheep are dying at higher rates than usual, reaching up to 60 percent mortality in some areas.
The United Nations on Tuesday said the situation had reached “the emergency stage which precedes that of famine.”
“All donors in the international community must commit to taking additional steps to tackle both immediate assistance needs and strengthen capacity in the region to respond to future crises,” Clinton said.
In Somalia, 20 years without a central government and the “relentless terrorism” by Al Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents had exacerbated an already severe situation, Clinton said.
However, she added she was “cautiously optimistic” that the insurgents would not impede international assistance in famine-struck areas.