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Clinton Announces Additional $17M For Horn Of Africa, Urges Long-Term Investment In Agriculture, Food Aid

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday announced in a speech at the International Food Policy Research Institute that the U.S. has pledged an additional $17 million in emergency food aid to the Horn of Africa, with $12 million going to humanitarian operations in Somalia, VOA News reports (Baragona, 8/11). “Clinton said … the new money – which comes on top of $105 million in U.S. assistance announced on Monday – would bring total U.S. humanitarian aid to the drought-hit region to more than $580 million this year,” Reuters reports (8/11).

Clinton said, “The United States is the largest single-country contributor of food and humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa. We are reaching more than 4.6 million people with this aid,” according to the State Department’s “DipNote” blog (8/11). “Clinton stressed that the famine must prompt long-term thinking by governments and charities to avoid future food crises. Aid shouldn’t only be about providing help during catastrophes, but also about boosting agriculture, nourishment levels and food distribution networks around the world so that future catastrophes can be avoided,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (8/11).

Clinton also “appealed … for support for President Obama’s embattled global farm-aid program, saying that the reforms it was promoting had prevented the drought in East Africa from being worse,” the Washington Post reports. The Feed the Future initiative “is facing potentially steep cuts by Congress. The White House has requested $1.4 billion for the project in 2012. But a House Appropriations subcommittee recently slashed several accounts that could leave the program with about one-third less in funding,” the newspaper writes (Sheridan, 8/11).

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