Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim said, “I am very concerned about the situation for people in the Horn of Africa. Many have yet again been hit by two disasters at once: conflict and drought.”
According to the UN, nearly 10 million people are short of food. Food prices are extremely high. The Horn of Africa is in a state of permanent crisis as a result of the protracted conflict in Somalia.
“This makes the effects of the drought even worse,” said Mr Solheim. “Many Somalians are now fleeing to Ethiopia and Kenya, which are also affected by the drought. Many are also fleeing to the war-torn capital Mogadishu.”
Norway has for some time been contributing to the efforts to reduce vulnerability. At the same time it is vital to provide assistance when the situation deteriorates dramatically. Norway is therefore increasing its funding by NOK 33 million, bringing it up to a total of NOK 233 million. These funds are being channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and various Norwegian NGOs.
“We are following developments closely and considering the situation on an ongoing basis,” said Mr Solheim.
Norway was warned as early as October 2010 that the weather event La Niña could trigger a drought on the Horn of Africa. Norway therefore provided around NOK 200 million early this year to the main humanitarian actors in the Horn of Africa, including through a contribution to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.
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