May 19, 2024

United States Commits $524 Million to Address Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, briefs reporters on Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, announced today that the United States will provide an additional $524 million in humanitarian assistance to address the dire needs in the Horn of Africa. Speaking at a high-level pledging event in New York, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the urgency of the situation and called for global cooperation and support.

The Horn of Africa is currently grappling with multiple crises, including a prolonged drought, flash floods, and conflicts in neighboring countries. As a result, 36 million people in the region now rely on humanitarian assistance, with the threat of famine looming large. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stressed that in a world abundant with food, no community should face starvation.

The United States’ commitment includes nearly $416 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and approximately $108 million from the Department of State. This brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Horn of Africa crisis to over $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2023. Specifically, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield highlighted the allocation of over $40 million in additional humanitarian funding to Somalia.

However, the ambassador emphasized that addressing the crisis is a collective responsibility that requires a global solution. She expressed concern over the inadequate funding for humanitarian response efforts and the unpredictability of assistance availability. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield urged all nations to heed the call of the collective Humanitarian Response Plan, which seeks $7 billion in assistance.

Furthermore, she emphasized the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change, build sustainable food systems, and support humanitarian workers and NGOs dedicated to saving lives. The ambassador called for bold and urgent action to prevent famine, treat malnutrition, and provide essential services to the most vulnerable populations.

The United States has been at the forefront of responding to the crisis in the Horn of Africa and remains the largest single-country donor of humanitarian assistance in the region. However, the magnitude of the crisis requires greater financial support from both traditional and emerging donors to effectively address the immediate needs and build resilience for the future.

As the region continues to grapple with the effects of the severe drought, the United States aims to avert famine and alleviate suffering. Long-term investments are crucial to rebuilding livelihoods and community resilience, even if normal rainy seasons return in 2023.

The United States continues to urge all donors to join in scaling up humanitarian assistance, delivering life-saving aid, and making sustainable investments to mitigate the impact of future climate shocks.

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