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The Dutch government is providing an extra €10 million in emergency aid for drought victims in the Horn of Africa. The decision was announced in a programme on Radio 1 last Saturday by Bert Koenders, Minister for Development Corporation.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said on 19 September that the situation in the Horn of Africa had reached alarming proportions. The humanitarian crisis there is giving serious cause for concern, due to a combination of drought and rising food prices and also, in some areas, conflict situations.
Development minister Bert Koenders is setting aside extra funds for emergency aid for three countries in the Horn of Africa to deal with the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation there.
'Conditions in these three countries [Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea] have deteriorated quickly over the past three months, due to a combination of rising food prices, drought and conflict. If we don't take action now, the result will be a humanitarian crisis,' said Mr Koenders.
The pledge of additional aid comes in response to a request by John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for …
To help the 15 million victims of drought in the Horn of Africa, Minister for Development Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne has increased Dutch emergency aid to 21.8 million euros. Earlier this year, the Dutch government made 7 million euros available for international aid organisations to alleviate famine. Because of the persistent drought, over a third of the livestock have died in some parts of the region; wells have run dry and the land has become parched. In Somalia, cereal production has dropped by 80%. Food and seed prices have rocketed.
- Main features of Dutch policy on Africa
Agnes van Ardenne, Minister for Development Cooperation, is donating 9 million euros to the UN to alleviate the food crisis in Africa. Of this sum, 5 million will go to the Horn of Africa, 3 million to Southern Africa and 1 million to West Africa. 40 million Africans are threatened by famine. Ethiopia has been worst hit by food shortages and faces widespread starvation.
Minister for Development Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne is allocating an extra €5 million to relieve the famine in Africa. The money will go to start the appeal for southern Africa and the Horn of Africa launched by the joint Dutch aid agencies on 13 December.
"Hunger threatens the lives of millions of people, most of them women and children. We are facing a disaster of such proportions that we have to do everything we possibly can to turn the tide," Van Ardenne announced.
Whenever a disaster of this kind occurs, the Dutch aid agencies join forces to raise funds.