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Appeals for aid to Horn of Africa severely under-funded – UN

Appeals for aid to Horn of Africa severely under-funded – UN

Donations to pay for numerous humanitarian assistance projects in drought-stricken Horn of Africa have come in well below requested levels, with the total funding gap now at $596 million, the United Nations humanitarian coordination office said today.

Ethiopia's humanitarian appeal of $320 million has received close to half of that amount. But only $19 million, or just 12 percent, of the $157 million needed for Eritrea has been received, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Only nine percent, or $14 million, has been received for Somalia's appeal, despite the need there for $164 million, it added

OCHA reported earlier this week that it had received only $400,000, or just five per cent, of the $7.5 million appeal for drought-stricken Djibouti, leaving the agricultural, food and coordination sectors of the appeal completely unfunded.

This past May, following a closed-door briefing to the Security Council on humanitarian crises in Africa, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and OCHA Chief Jan Egeland told reporters that global attention to crises was too uneven and that there needed to be more focus on "forgotten crises" like the Horn of Africa.

Asked if the rest of the world was discriminating against Africa in terms of providing money humanitarian aid, Mr. Egeland said that the discrimination was "in-built."

If everyone agreed that every human life had the same value, then the same attention would be paid to northern Uganda as to northern Iraq, or the same attention to Congo as there was to Kosovo, he said, adding: "That is simply not the case today. The majority of our activities in Africa are badly under-funded."