U.S. Response to Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 28, 2011
Family Stands at Field Hospital in Dadaab Kenya

More than 11.5 million people -- primarily in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia -- are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa. The United States is concerned about the high malnutrition rates in the region -- particularly in southern and central Somalia and the attendant Somali refugee population. A large-scale multi-donor intervention is underway to prevent the further decline of an already dire situation, but there will be no quick fix. The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to the region, providing approximately $459 million this fiscal year to help those in need. This funding supports humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other drought affected populations, and builds near and longer term food security. Because emergency assistance will not solve the underlying long-term problems in the region, the U.S. government is also working on comprehensive responses, such as through the President's Feed the Future initiative.

Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, and other Drought Affected Populations Reports from inside Somalia indicate the combined daily arrival rates of 3,200 new refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya could rise dramatically as the situation in Somalia grows increasingly desperate. The U.S. government is providing approximately $69 million for refugee assistance in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Much of this assistance was previously planned for the region to meet continuing critical humanitarian needs. But with the deepening of this crisis, the U.S. government responded by making available $5 million in new funding for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' recent Emergency Appeal for Somali refugees. Our diplomacy and our dollars leverage other donor support for international protection and assistance efforts. These efforts are critical to saving lives and maintaining access to safe asylum in Somalia's neighboring countries, even as they themselves struggle with a drought that has been described as the worst in 60 years.

Food Security Over a month ago, the United States contributed approximately 19,000 metric tons of food aid to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) for Somalia. It is being drawn down now from prepositioned stocks in the region. This week, the United States announced it is providing an additional $21 million contribution to WFP in Somalia to benefit those in need of food assistance. Another $5 million to WFP was also announced for refugees in Kenya, bringing the total this year that the U.S. has provided to $69.6 million in food assistance for the more than 211,000 refugees in Ethiopia and 507,000 refugees in Kenya. Since September 2010, the U.S. government has provided $20 million to WFP in Kenya for the purchase of up to 37,000 metric tons of regionally-grown corn.

Feed the Future President Obama's You can read more about the U.S. Response to Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa here.



tracy f.
Louisiana, USA
July 29, 2011

Tracy F. in Louisiana writes:

Unfortunately, I have mixed emotions on this. I know help is needed in Africa however, it is more obvious US Citizens that the USA cannot provide for its own citizens right now therefore, we cannot afford to help other countries!

We cannot act like a Super Power, when we cant/won't provide for our own!

New Mexico, USA
August 1, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Tracy F. in Louisiana,

Less than 1% of annual taxpayer dollars goes to help people globally and if it weren't for this, millions would starve or die of disease.

To illustrate just how wrong you are in your assessment, you might want to take in a movie and see what your fellow Americans are doing along with a few others to make a difference and save a few lives without any support.


@ USAID & State dept personnel, Please take the time to watch this,...it will give pause for thought.



Latest Stories