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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid