News / Africa

USAID Gives Additional Funding For Ethiopia Drought Relief

A woman walks with her children to a transit center in the Dolo Ado refugee camp in southern Ethiopia, July 19, 2011.
A woman walks with her children to a transit center in the Dolo Ado refugee camp in southern Ethiopia, July 19, 2011.

The United States has announced $127 million in additional funding for nutrition and drought alleviation programs in Ethiopia. USAID chief Rajiv Shah made the announcement during the first of two stops in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.

USAID administrator Shah met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi Tuesday to discuss ways of breaking the cycle of drought and malnutrition that regularly claims uncounted thousands of lives in East Africa.  He came with three new aid grants, including $110 million for a food security program aimed at reaching 1.5 million Ethiopians suffering from chronic hunger conditions.

Of the estimated 12.4 million people suffering from malnutrition in the region, the largest number are in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation.

Ethiopia is credited with taking preventive measures since the last horrific drought in 2008, which claimed tens of thousands of lives.  A network of new health centers has been constructed, providing a first line of defense to identify severe malnutrition cases that would have been fatal three years ago.

With those measures in place, Shah said his talks with Prime Minister Meles focused on further steps Ethiopia could take to increase drought resiliency.

"We discussed some very specific policy reforms that the prime minister has taken leadership on, with respect to the seed sector, with respect to marketing systems, and with respect to prioritizing pastoralism and pastoral communities and making water more available to farmers, and we believe those policy reforms will help usher in a new era of agricultural growth and performance in Ethiopia," he said.

The USAID chief said the other aid programs for Ethiopia include a new $7.3 million loan facility that will allow more private investment by farmers and agriculture-related businesses.

"Ethiopia can have more private investment in agriculture and through that private investment, more agriculture growth and the ability to avoid what we know is a recurring cycle of drought and asset destruction and increased suffering from that.  We’re excited to make those commitments," Shah said. "It’s part of [the] 'Feed the Future' [program] and the reason I’m here is to make sure that those investments are aligned with policy reforms that the prime minister is putting in place to enable Ethiopia’s agriculture sector to flourish."

Feed the Future is a U.S. government initiative targeting 20 countries, aimed at alleviating the causes of hunger, and reducing poverty, hunger, and undernutrition.  A USAID news release called addressing undernutrition the key to President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative.

The United States has provided more than $640 million in assistance in response to the Horn of Africa nutrition crisis, making it the largest single aid donor.  But the latest grants come at the same time as word that the budget crisis in Washington is forcing significant foreign aid cuts.  A report in Tuesday’s New York Times said both houses of Congress are proposing reductions that would affect aid programs.

Shah wraps up his East Africa visit Wednesday with a stop in Kenya, which has also been hit hard by the Horn of Africa drought.

The USAID chief will not visit Somalia, where famine has been declared in some areas controlled by al-Qaeda-linked extremists.  But he is slated to meet with humanitarian groups attempting to coordinate emergency aid deliveries in the famine zone.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid