US Drought Aid for Horn of Africa Tops $600 Million

Posted September 1st, 2011 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says it will provide an additional $23 million to combat the drought in the Horn of Africa, including $10 million specifically for Somalia.

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced the aid Thursday. It said U.S. drought and famine assistance now totals more than $600 million, the largest total given by any single country.

Separately, France has shipped about 400 tons of food that is expected to arrive in Somalia in about 12 days.

The aid, provided by French businesses and organizations, including enough flour, sugar, rice and oil to feed more than 22,000 people for one month.

The United Nations says more than 12 million people throughout the Horn of Africa are in need of urgent aid because of the drought. The world body has declared a famine in five regions of Somalia.

Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled their homes in recent months in search of food and water.

Experts have warned that food production in southern Somalia remains at a historic low, and that famine conditions across the region are likely to continue and spread.