Africa

Togo sees significant return on investment in agriculture

3 August 2011, Lomé, Togo/Rome - The European Union's (EU) investment in agricultural rehabilitation in Togo has led to benefits that are almost double their cost, according to FAO. The Organization used EU funding to help Togolese farmers cope with high food prices and climatic adversities.

Togo's rural population suffered the most from floods and sharp increases in food prices that hit the country in 2007 and 2008.

Horn of Africa: UNICEF urges airlines to cut costs of delivering aid

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2 August 2011 – As aid agencies continue to scale up their response to the dire humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is appealing to the air transport sector to provide free and discounted cargo space to bring emergency food supplies into the region.

“Commercial air transport costs as much as the value of the food,” Marixie Mercado, UNICEF’s spokesperson in Geneva, told a news conference there.

Somalia crisis may put U.S. terror laws on hold

An estimated 11 million people in and around Somalia are at risk of starvation amid the worst drought to hit the nation in a generation, a crisis so dire it is about to force the Obama administration to ease rules meant to block the funding of terrorist groups.

 Billions of dollars in aid has been pledged by the global community to help stave off the mounting disaster, and it's increasingly reaching those most in need, but a damning obstacle remains in the form of an Islamic terror group called al-Shabab.

Somalia: UN official warns famine could spread without adequate relief funding

1 August 2011 – The United Nations humanitarian chief warned today that the famine in Somalia could spread if the international community does not provide the funds required to respond to the hunger crisis, which, she said, had claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

UN humanitarian agencies last month declared outright famine in two areas of southern Somalia.

“Unless we see a massive increase in response, the famine will spread to five or six more regions,” Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters at UN Headquarters. “Tens of thousand of Somalis have already died and hundreds of thousands face starvation,” she said.

UN refugee agency seeks additional funding for Horn of Africa emergency

28 July 2011 – The United Nations refugee agency today revised upwards the amount of funds it requires to effectively respond to the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, asking donors to provide an additional $8.6 million on top of the $136.3 million already requested for its humanitarian operations in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.

Number of famine-displaced Somalis seeking aid in Mogadishu swells to 100,000 – UN

26 July 2011 – Up to 100,000 internally displaced people have arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, over the last two months in search of food, water, shelter and other vital humanitarian assistance after fleeing famine-hit areas, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

“The number is growing by the day, with daily arrivals averaging 1,000 in July,” Vivian Tan, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.

Aid to Horn of Africa must be linked to boosting long-term food security – Ban Ki Moon

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25 July 2011 – Emergency delivery of aid to people facing drought-related hunger in the Horn of Africa must be accompanied by longer-term efforts to boost food security in the region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling for an agricultural transformation that improves the livelihoods of rural communities in the region.

Rome emergency meeting rallies to aid Horn of Africa

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25 July 2011, Rome - The international community rallied today to the aid of drought- and famine-affected populations in the Horn of Africa with an immediate, twin-track programme designed to avert an imminent humanitarian catastrophe and build long-term food security in the region.

The meeting was organized by FAO at the urgent request of the French Presidency of the Group of 20 and was attended by Ministers and senior representatives from FAO's 191 Member Countries, other UN agencies and international and non-governmental organizations.

World Bank Plans more than $500 million in Rapid Response to Drought Emergency in Horn of Africa

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WASHINGTON, July 25, 2011 – On the eve of the international emergency summit on the unfolding tragedy in the Horn of Africa, the World Bank today announced it is providing more than $500 million to assist drought victims, in addition to $12 million in immediate assistance to help those worst hit by the crisis.

 More than 11 million people in the region have been hit by one of the worst droughts in 60 years, resulting in widespread hunger, deaths, and the loss of subsistence crops and livestock. Rising food prices and deteriorating livestock prices have exacerbated the situation, and the UN is warning of worsening conditions in the coming months.

Sudan: UN relief chief sounds alarm over dwindling aid stocks in Southern Kordofan

24 July 2011 – The United Nations humanitarian chief today voiced concern at the dwindling stocks of aid for people caught up in the recent fighting engulfing Sudan's region of Southern Kordofan, warning the consequences will be grave unless aid workers are allowed in to replenish supplies.

 “Children, elderly people and mothers risk hunger,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a statement.

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