“African Solutions for African Problems”
About the Authors: Michael Battle serves as U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, and Ertharin Cousin serves as U.S. Representative to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.
We congratulate the African Union (AU) for calling together African Nations to demonstrate their support as partners with the international community to address the serious drought and famine facing the Horn of Africa. At an AU-organized pledging conference last week, Africans also expressed their deep appreciation to the international community for its overwhelming continued support to humanitarian relief as well as to assisting the African continent build capacity for addressing future crises.
The African Union has been using the phrase, “African Solutions for African Problems,” to mean that Africa as a continent must endeavor to be full partners in addressing African problems. The African Union has never suggested that it wants to solve its problems in isolation from the international community rather it has consistently asserted that it wants to insert African… more »
The Untapped Power of the Somali Diaspora
About the Author: Donald Y. Yamamoto serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
With famine spreading across the Horn of Africa, the Somali-American diaspora isn’t just watching the images fan across the television, they’re organizing themselves into action. More than 100,000 Somali-Americans reside in the United States and their deep communal ties to relatives in Somalia are the foundation of their giving. The United States recognizes that this positive force of giving can help shape the political trajectory of Somalia, which is why the State Department’s Africa Bureau has been nurturing relationships with diaspora communities in Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Columbus, Ohio. For the past two years, I have traveled and met with Somali elders, youth, academic experts,… more »
U.S., Kenya and UNHCR Work Together To Assist Refugees
About the Author: Bryan Schaaf serve as a program officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). He is currently coordinating PRM’s assistance to international organizations and NGOs in Dadaab, Kenya.
Due to conflict and famine, over 235,000 refugees fled Somalia from January to June of this year alone. Over half have come to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, which was already the largest in the world, situated in the arid northeast, about 80 kilometers from the Somali border.
There are now almost 500,000 refugees in Kenya — that’s more than the total population of Cleveland, Ohio. While the majority of refugees in Kenya are Somali, Congolese, Sudanese, Eritrean, or Ethiopian, others are also represented. While not a rich country, Kenya has generously hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees for many years — including some families that have been in Dadaab for three generations. For this, the Kenyan government is to be commended.
Kenya recently demonstrated leadership in providing humanitarian assistance by allowing the Office of the UN High Commissioner… more »
On World Humanitarian Day, 100 Ways You Can Help Victims of the East Africa Drought
About the Author: Nancy Lindborg serves as Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Today is World Humanitarian Day. Reaching out to those suffering from crisis and disaster is a fundamental human impulse and a deeply enshrined American value. It is a value we share with people around the globe. It is the silver lining of any crisis, when the best of who we are as people emerges just when things are the bleakest.
Today is an opportunity to honor the humanitarian impulse in all of us and to applaud all the ways in which people mobilize to help others, even when they have little to spare. I saw it in Tunisia in March, when people, already reeling from an economic plunge, spontaneously organized to take in Libyan refugees who needed help. We are seeing it with the Kenyans for Kenya… more »
Secretary Clinton Honors Sacrifice of Aid Workers on World Humanitarian Day
More: Statement by White House Press Secretary | Full-Size Map
On this third annual World Humanitarian Day, the United States joins the international community in honoring the courage and commitment of aid workers around the world. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement in recognition of this day. Secretary Clinton said:
“In situations of conflict and instability around the world, humanitarians stand up against violence, human suffering and indifference. On this World Humanitarian Day, we honor their sacrifice. Whether by defending their own… more »
Mobilizing Life-Saving Resources To Assist Those in Dadaab
About the Author: Ambassador Ertharin Cousin serves as U.S. Representative to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.
I arrived to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya this morning, by plane from Nairobi. Too busy, too exhausted (physically and emotionally) to write much detail but here are my first impressions: Walking through the gates of the Dadaab camp receiving area, I immediately encounter a newly-arrived family of five. Covered in Somalian dust, they appear tired and, for a family with small boys, abnormally sullen.
As a grandmother of boys about the same age my heart melts, because, I know, my boys can’t sit still for more than a few minutes. These small boys having just walked, I learn from their mother, for 14 days to reach the camp, sit almost lifeless. Their arms and legs are literally skin and bones. But now their mother tells me, despite their appearance, they are happy. My translator tells me the parents decided to make the long walk to the camp after their crops failed… more »
More: Crisis in the Horn of Africa | How You Can Help
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks on the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on August 11, 2011. Secretary Clinton discussed the ongoing international humanitarian response, as well as how the crisis in the Horn of Africa shows the urgency of investing in sustained food security through efforts such as Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
Secretary… more »
Secretary Clinton To Deliver Remarks on Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa
More: Crisis in the Horn of Africa | How You Can Help
Join Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she delivers remarks on the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) at approximately 11:00 a.m. (EDT) on August 11, 2011. Secretary Clinton will discuss the ongoing international humanitarian response, as well as how the crisis in the Horn of Africa shows the urgency of investing in sustained food security through efforts such as Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. You can watch the event streamed live here.
Day Two: On the Ground in the Horn of Africa
About the Author: Dr. Rajiv Shah is the Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Earlier this week, I visited the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, where thousands of exhausted and starving refugees have sought food, water and medical care after fleeing from famine-stricken lands in southern Somalia. The United States is providing life-saving help for millions of people across the eastern Horn of Africa, as the region experiences its worst drought in 60 years.
Although we will always provide aid in times of urgent need, emergency assistance is not a long-term solution. To address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition, we need to invest in agriculture, build strong markets and harness advances in science and technology. Spearheaded by USAID, President Obama’s food security initiative — Feed the Future — is helping countries develop their own agricultural sectors so they… more »