News / Africa

Oxfam Urges African Governments to Give More to Famine Relief

Children from southern Somalia, receive food in Mogadishu, Aug 15, 2011
Children from southern Somalia, receive food in Mogadishu, Aug 15, 2011
Michael Onyiego

As calls for assistance to fight the famine in Somalia increase, aid group Oxfam says African countries must also do their part to alleviate the suffering.

Following a declaration by the African Union, countries around the continent are observing a day of solidarity and awareness with the victims of the ongoing famine in Somalia. But at the same time, a coalition of civil society and relief organizations gathered to criticize the African response to the food crisis sweeping across the Horn of Africa.  

The group, Africans Act 4 Africa, is calling for the continent to do more.

At the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, families fleeing the famine in Somalia are given aid, but also face new challenges. VOA's Michael Onyiego visited the camp and took these pictures.

Since bursting into the public eye just over a month ago, response to the drought and subsequent famine has largely been led by humanitarian groups and the United Nations.  Western nations, particularly in Europe and North America, have pledged significant funds to relief efforts, but Oxfam International spokesperson Anne Mitaru says African leaders have not played a large enough role in addressing the crisis.

“There is general disappointment that can be felt across the continent.  What was missing is the African voice. The bold African voice, the bold African face of leadership on this matter,” said Mitaru.

And beyond leadership, Africans Act 4 Africa, known simply as AA4A, says the continent is not pulling its financial weight. People in countries like Kenya and South Africa have organized donation drives to contribute to famine relief, but with aid efforts facing a $1.3 billion shortfall, AA4A says the governments will need to get involved.

The African Union initially announced a contribution of around $500,000. South Africa also announced an initial contribution of more than $150,000. But Oxfam’s Mitaru says such contributions are unacceptable.

“When you look at the South African economy, one of the largest, actually the leading, biggest economy on the continent, $150,000 is a poor show," said Mitaru. African governments may not have the resources to entirely meet the funding gap, but they cannot not be part of the solution.”

South Africa has since upped its pledge to around $1 million, and Botswana, Sudan and other countries have pledged money. But Africans Act 4 Africa says the continent’s governments can do better. In just more than a week, the Kenyans for Kenya campaign has already generated over $2 million from private and public donations.

Oxfam and the AA4A coalition are calling for African governments to raise at least $50 million towards famine relief in Somalia. The groups released a report that breaks down how much each government can allegedly afford to contribute. The report says South Africa, Nigeria, Libya, Egypt and Algeria should donate more than $5 million each.

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

Video 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