US Pledges $100 Million for Drought-Stricken Horn of Africa

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 11:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has pledged another $100 million to help people in drought-affected areas of East Africa.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the aid will be primarily in the form of food assistance to those in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The region is struggling with a severe drought that has left nearly 13 million people needing help to get enough food, water and health care.

Clinton said the U.S. has already committed $650 million for food and humanitarian aid, as the Obama administration works to ensure fewer people go hungry and farmers have the support they need to boost crop yields.

The United Nations estimates tens of thousands have died in the region as a result of the drought and that 750,000 people are in danger of dying during the next few months.

Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled their homes in search of food and water, migrating to refugee camps in the Mogadishu area or in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

The militant group al-Shabab has blocked aid distribution in the parts of Somalia it controls, banning most foreign aid groups from its territory. The group denies that those areas are experiencing a famine.