News / Africa

Somali Government Welcomes US Aid

Somali government soldiers patrol in Mogadishu's Bakara market, August 8, 2011
Somali government soldiers patrol in Mogadishu's Bakara market, August 8, 2011


  • Clottey interview with Abdirahman Omar Osman, spokesman for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government,

Peter Clottey

U.S. President Barack Obama has approved $105 million in new drought and famine aid to East Africa. The White House says the United States will continue to help those who desperately need food, shelter, water and medicine.

Abdirahman Omar Osman, the spokesman for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, said the funds will go a long way in helping countries in the Horn of Africa address the famine.

The crisis has forced hundreds of thousands of people to become either refugees or be internally displaced.

“This is excellent news that the Somali people wanted at this critical moment of our history,” said Osman. “The US has been an ally and [it] has been assisting us in fighting terrorism. And now for them to put more effort on humanitarian aid in particular… will greatly help [ease] the suffering of our people.”

The United States has already contributed $565 million in aid to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya

The U.S. delegation led by Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, arrived in Kenya earlier Monday to assess the regional impact of the drought.  

Mrs. Biden toured the Dadaab refugee camps and the tens of thousands of Somali famine refugees who have fled there in recent weeks.

Many come from famine areas in southern Somalia under the control of the militant Islamic group al-Shabab.

The U.S. offer comes as the African Union rescheduled a conference to raise money for drought and famine relief.

Several heads of state and government across Africa are expected to participate in the summit, which is now set for August 25.

The continental body has asked member countries to contribute towards relief efforts in East Africa. Osman said his government is encouraged by the AU’s support.

“The AU has a responsibility to put pressure on countries [on] the continent [to help] and for that reason we are very grateful for the security and now for the humanitarian [aid],” said Osman. “This is the best time to bring in al-Shabab remnants and to rehabilitate [them into] society.”

He adds that the recent withdrawal of the Islamic militants provides an opportunity for the government to get rid of “terrorists as well as ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those desperately in need.”

Osman acknowledged that the Transitional Federal Government is overwhelmed by the enormity of the disaster, and called for international intervention to help the administration.

“We are doing everything we can.  However, the magnitude or the extent of the dire need for food aid and for humanitarian assistance is far greater than what we can do ourselves. So that is why we have been calling [on] the international community to help us,” said Osman.

The United Nations says more than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa are in urgent need of food aid.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs