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China Pledges $55 Million in Famine Aid for Horn of Africa


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, meets Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, August 15, 2011

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, meets Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, August 15, 2011

The Chinese government has pledged $55 million in food aid for Horn of Africa nations dealing with severe drought and famine.

The official Xinhua news agency said Monday that Premier Wen Jiabao made the offer during talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Beijing.

The pledge is in addition to nearly $8 million in emergency aid that China promised Ethiopia earlier. Last month, the Asian giant also pledged $14 million in urgent aid to East African countries including Kenya and Djibouti.

The United Nations is appealing for more aid to combat the regional drought, which has turned to famine in some parts of Somalia.

Hundreds of thousands of desperate Somalis have fled to camps in Mogadishu or neighboring countries in search of food and water.

The United States has pledged more than $500 million in food aid and refugee assistance.

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