More Aid Coming to African Drought Victims

Posted September 24th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Starving refugees in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa could soon be getting more help.

The World Bank Saturday said it is increasing aid to the region to $1.88 billion, which includes $500 million already allocated to relief efforts.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the goal is to help victims of the current drought and help make the region more resilient, so it can avoid the ravages of future natural disasters.

The World Bank estimates more than 13 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda are in need of immediate aid. It also says international appeals have so far fallen about $1 billion short of what is needed.

The bank plans to deliver the aid in three phases. Its says the first $288 million will be used to deliver emergency relief between now and June 30, 2012.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner praised the World Bank effort in remarks Saturday to the International Monetary Fund Development Committee in Washington.

Geithner also said future investments in agriculture should be designed to help protect farmers and communities in these areas from future shocks.

He said 2 million of those threatened by the current drought in the Horn of Africa are children.