Saturday, July 23, 2011

EU boosts support to Horn of Africa drought victims

Aude Genet in AFP: The European Union aid commissioner on Saturday vowed to do all that is possible to help 12 million people struggling from extreme drought across the Horn of Africa, boosting aid by 27.8 million euros ($40 million). "We commit to do as much as we can," said EU aid chief Kristalina Georgieva during a visit to Dadaab, the world's largest refugee complex.

The funds come on top of almost 70 million euros ($100 million) the bloc has already contributed as assistance in the worst regional drought in decades, affecting parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Uganda. Refugees from neighbouring Somalia fleeing drought, famine and conflict continue to stream daily into the camp in eastern Kenya, a vast and overcrowded complex sheltering some 380,000 people.

Kenya's government has said it is overwhelmed by the flood of refugees, including those fleeing two areas in southern Somalia that the United Nations declared on Wednesday were suffering from famine. "We really appreciate what the Kenyan government and the Kenyan people are doing," said Georgieva. "We have a responsibility to share."

Kenya recently agreed to open a new extension to ease congestion in the camp, but remains wary of the security threat posed by Somali insurgents and fears that some rebels can find their way into the camps...

On the edge of the Dadaab camp in Kenya, July 8 2011, shot by Oxfam East Africa, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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