Anti-poverty group ONE is calling on world leaders to provide the aid that is urgently needed for the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.An emergency UN meeting is being held in Rome today [Monday] to galvanise the international community’s response to the crisis, which has been criticised for being too slow. $1 billion is still needed for emergency assistance, including food, water and sanitation.
Jamie Drummond, Executive Director of ONE said:
“Today’s emergency meeting of the UN must see a swift acceleration in the international community’s response to the food crisis. Despite the urgency of the situation, early warning signs have been ignored and world leaders have been slow to act. Men, women and children are dying of starvation in the Horn of Africa while they wait for European leaders to debate aid budgets.
“African governments and the African Union have responded to the appeal, including Sudan which has given $1.78m to Ethiopia. The Somalian diasporas is sending remittances to save lives, and African institutions are helping agencies deliver the aid, securing ports and airports as well as providing medical assistance in camps. These proud dignified people are determined to turn things around and they are looking to the international community for help.
“The British response has been good with the UK government providing vital supplies for more than two million people. But the same cannot be said for other world leaders. President Sarkozy was right to call this emergency meeting but must find more funding. Countries including Italy and Germany are not doing enough and what about the Gulf States or China?
“This meeting will focus on the immediate aid that is needed but at the same time leaders cannot drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past. This meeting must also kick-start discussions about how leaders will get back on track with their promises to make long-term investments in food and farming in Africa, for example investing in seeds and fertilisers now to take advantage of the expected good rains later in the year. There is much that can still be done to save lives now and prevent similar disasters returning in the future.”
Jamie Drummond is available for interview and ONE will have staff at the UN meeting in Rome. For more information contact Katherine Sladden +44 (0)7584 470 644 / Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) is holding an emergency meeting to address the escalating crisis in the Horn of Africa and mobilise international support. The meeting has been called for by France, current president of the Group of 20. FAO's 191 member countries, other UN agencies and international organizations, development banks and non-governmental organizations will be attending.
Based on data from the UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service for Djibouti, Kenya and Somali and two non-UN appeals from Ethiopia for 2011, ONE calculates the total appeal at $1.871 billion. Forty-six percent or $860 million of this appeal has been filled leaving a shortfall of $1.011 billion, as of mid-July 2011.
At the 2009 L’Aquila G8 leaders promised to invest $22 billion in agriculture development. ONE’s recently published Agriculture Accountability report shows donors have only delivered a fifth of the money promised with just one year to go until the deadline.
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organisation backed by more than 2 and a half million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information go to www.one.org/about and follow us on twitter @ONECampaignUK.