US to Offer $100 Million in New Famine Aid for East Africa

Posted August 8th, 2011 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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The United States is set to offer $100 million in new drought and famine aid to East Africa, as a high-level U.S. team visits the region.

U.S. officials say the new aid will be announced Monday. The United States has previously contributed more than $450 million to combat the regional drought.

The U.S. delegation led by Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, arrived in Kenya earlier Monday to assess the regional impact of the severe drought.

Mrs. Biden toured the Dadaab refugee camps, where tens of thousands of Somali famine refugees have fled in recent weeks.

The White House says Biden will meet with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to discuss ways of responding to the crisis. It says she will also meet with Kenya's agriculture minister to discuss long-term food security programs.

The United Nations says more than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa are in urgent need of food aid.

Kenya has avoided the famine conditions spreading across southern Somalia, but U.N. agencies say parts of the country are experiencing a food emergency.

Biden is accompanied on the trip by U.S. Senator Bill Frist, and Raj Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.