UN Committed to ending Suffering in the Horn of Africa
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ECA Press Release No. 109/2011

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Asha-Rose Migiro
 

Addis Ababa, 25 August 2011 (ECA) - United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Asha-Rose Migiro, Thursday assured African countries that the United Nations is committed to working with them to end the suffering currently gripping the horn of Africa due to the on-going drought and famine. Representing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a special African Union summit for pledging funds to support relief efforts, Ms Migiro said: “Secretary-General Ban has mobilized the UN system to join forces in responding to this critical situation and I am here on his behalf to pledge our continued full support.”

The African Union called the special summit on Thursday 25 August in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to raise funding from all UN Member States, non-government organizations and private sector firms to ease the suffering of the millions of people affected by the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. The summit was attended by many heads of states and governments and UN agencies working in Ethiopia.

The summit raised US $351 million in cash and US $28.8 million in kind, which the chairperson of the African Union commission Mr. Jean Ping described as a remarkable achievement.

Ms Migiro commended Ethiopia and Kenya for taking-in many refugees from Somalia despite the difficult situation their countries are also facing. Noting that political instability has made the drought situation worse in Somalia, she called on the country’s Federal Transitional Government to step up its outreach and reconciliation efforts to build sustainable peace in Somalia.

The President of Equatorial-Guinea and Chairperson of the African Union, Mr. Teodoro Obiang, opened the conference stating that the dire emergency now facing the horn of Africa prompted the AU into calling this extraordinary conference for the first time and shows Africa taking leadership in resolving its problems.

The African Union’s High-Representative for Somalia and former president of Ghana, Mr. Jerry Rawlings, said: “Africa and the international community urgently need to break the chronic cycle of food insecurity and we must do this once and for all.”

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