More money for famine victims

Switzerland is to make another SFr20 million ($25.4 million) available to combat famine in the Horn of Africa.

This content was published on August 17, 2011 - 15:20 and agencies

The government approved the extra money at its meeting on Wednesday, its first after the summer break.

Some of the money will go to help people southern Somalia and undernourished children in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya to which many Somalis continue to flee.

Another part will go to help provide education to young refugees in Dadaab and the rest to help the needy in the host populations of northern Kenya in an effort to reduce tensions between local people and refugees.

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who is also this year’s Swiss president, visited the camp earlier this month to get an idea of the situation there.

In addition to emergency aid, Switzerland is focussing on investment in farming with a view to reconstructing the agricultural sector and preventing similar crises in the future.

Switzerland has already allocated about SFr19 million to the region since the beginning of the year.

According to the United Nations over 12 million people are currently in need of emergency aid, not only in Somalia but in northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

The international community has promised more than $1 billion in emergency aid, but so far only about half that amount has been collected.

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