"The upgrades at the port of Djibouti are key to responding to the food needs of the Horn of Africa during this current drought," Parmer stated. "I appreciate the government of Djibouti's efforts to support the millions of people who are suffering from the effects of the drought."
U.S. ambassador to Djibouti Lange Schermerhorn added, "This contribution will benefit the entire Horn of Africa region as well as the people of Djibouti. Increasing the capacity of the port will allow food aid to get to the people who need it most, while investing in the long-term transportation infrastructure of the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority for Development) region."
During his visit, Parmer also announced that USAID would contribute 2000 metric tons of food aid to Djibouti, valued at $1 million. This constitutes one-third of the World Food Program's request for food aid for Djibouti. It is estimated that approximately one-sixth of Djibouti's population, or 100,000 people, are affected by the drought conditions.
The visit to Djibouti is Parmer's fourth stop on a five-nation tour to assess drought conditions in the Horn of Africa. During his visit, he met with government officials and the World Food Program to discuss drought conditions in Djibouti, as well as touring the port. The port of Djibouti plays a key role in the logistics chain in bringing in food to address the needs of the drought-affected people in the Horn of Africa. Parmer also traveled to the Hol Holl Somali refugee camp and toured a school, health clinic and food distribution site run by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.
Parmer will also visit Eritrea for the last stop on a two-week trip to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti to assess the impact of the drought and evaluate the infrastructure for meeting the food needs of the region. He will then travel to Rome and Brussels to discuss the drought situation with officials of the U.N.'s World Food Program and the European Union.
Hugh Parmer has been USAID's assistant administrator for the Bureau for Humanitarian Response since 1998. USAID is the United States government agency responsible for development and humanitarian assistance around the world.
Contact: Kim Walz or Gabrielle Bushman