News / Africa

African Union Set to Raise Funds For Food Relief

Somali children from southern Somalia, receive cooked food in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, Aug 15, 2011
Somali children from southern Somalia, receive cooked food in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, Aug 15, 2011
Peter Clottey

An spokesman for the African Union says final preparations are being made for the scheduled August 25 “pledge conference” in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Organized by the continental body, the meeting aims to raise funds to help relief efforts in hunger-stricken East Africa, which has created hundreds of thousands refugees and internally displaced.

El-Ghassim Wane said the A.U. has been providing support delivering food and protecting relief workers.

“[Peacekeepers] on the ground from AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia] have been providing limited humanitarian support to the affected population in Mogadishu,” said Wane. “We felt there is need to mobilize the entire continent of Africa …and to offer support to the Somali people in the time of need.”

The A.U. spokesman said AMISOM will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Somalis. Initially, they protected supply lines from attacks by the militant group, al-Shabab.  The insurgents, however, recently abandoned the city, greatly minimizing the security threat.

He also said the AU is encouraged by the contribution of member states towards combating the ongoing drought and famine.

“Already, some countries have taken steps to provide support,” said Wane.  “Neighboring countries like Kenya and Ethiopia are opening their doors for Somali refugees seeking help. Other countries have [pledged] financial and logistical support.”

He also expressed hope the African Union will “galvanize African countries and ensure that we respond with adequate resources and commitment to the needs of the Somali people.”

Wane acknowledged the challenges facing AU peacekeepers in Somalia, who battle almost daily with Islamic insurgents.

“We have stepped up… needed protection to humanitarian organizations to help with access to the affected population. But we understand that we need to do more.”

The Somali Transitional Federal Government and aid groups have called for increased security to help protect relief workers in the country.

Analysts underscore the need to strengthen AMISOM in an effort to boost security in the capital.

Wane said the African Union is urging member countries to provide additional peacekeepers.

“We are short of 3,000 troops, but we are working very hard to reach the authorized strength of the mission [1,2000 troops]. Uganda and Burundi have pledged additional troops,” said Wane. “Djibouti has also pledged a battalion, Sierra Leone has indicated its willingness additional troops and we are also in touch with other African countries, so we are hopeful that in the not so distant future we will reach the authorized strength.”

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid