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UAE voices profound concern at humanitarian situation in Horn of Africa

posted on 26/09/2011: 855 views



New York - The UAE has voiced its deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa as a result of famine, thirsty, drought, malnutrition, and outbreak of killer diseases.

Dr. Saeed Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organisations, told the ministerial-level mini-summit on the Horn of Africa crisis that the UAE under instructions by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had rushed food, medical and sheltering assistance to help the hungry and displaced persons in affected countries, especially Somalia which was badly hit by the crisis. The meeting was held at the sidelines of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly.

An estimated 13 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are facing severe food shortages as a result of the prolonged drought. Famine has so far been formally declared in six areas of Somalia.

'UAE's paid assistance as documented in the UN Financial Control Service by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) since the eruption of the crisis in the Horn of Africa stood at about US$ 9 million. Aid pledged by the UAE for relief efforts reached US$ 6 million, ' Al Shamsi said.

He indicated that the UAE had offered US$ 40 million in emergency assistance to the UN operations in Somalia.

He added that telethons organised in August across the UAE to raise funds for the Horn of Africa's relief programmes collected about US$ 50 million.

Al Shamsi said major UAE aid agencies acting through the UAE Relief Team are currently carrying out massive humanitarian and relief programmes in Somalia to roll back famine.

At least US$218 million in new aid for the Horn of Africa was pledged at the United Nations mini-summit held to raise awareness about the region's humanitarian crisis and tackle the root causes of its recurring drought-related food shortages. With those pledges, about US$500 million is still need to meet the overall humanitarian appeal for the Horn of Africa of US$2.48 billion, the UN said. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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