The Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation, Mrs. Van Ardenne, has announced to make an extra-contribution of € 9 million available to famine-stricken Africa. In her announcement, the Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa said, she especially mentioned Ethiopia as the worst-hit country with about one third of drought victims. Ethiopia will receive in 2003 € 4 million out of the available € 9 million. This amount comes in addition to the € 4 million released for relief assistance following her visit to drought-stricken Mieso in East Oromia in October 2002, the Embassy said.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Development Cooperation at the beginning of the Special Africa Week in the Netherlands. This "Special Africa-week" was organized by the public broadcasting companies who joined hands with the Netherlands-based relief agencies in their on-going campaign 'Help Starving Africa'. The Minister for Development Cooperation also supports the campaign with a kick-off amount of € 5 million. So far, the campaign has resulted in private donations amounting to € 4.5 million. Part of the final contribution will also be allocated to Ethiopia by the collaborating agencies, according to the Embassy.
The Minister very much applauded the initiative of the collaborating agencies for being very timely, as the situation is worsening, particularly in the Horn. Fortunately, the Embassy said, the situation in Southern Africa is stabilising at the moment, due to the quick response of the donor community to the UN appeal in 2002. The critical food situation in various parts of Africa is not caused by lack of rains only. Especially in Southern Africa the HIV/AIDS pandemic has aggravated the situation, as the HIV/AIDS victims belong to the productive age group, which is responsible for cultivating the land.
- Addis Tribune
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