Donors Pledge New Aid for East Africa Crisis, Belie Talks of 'Donor Fatigue'

Donors have made pledges anew for the crisis in the Horn of Africa despite speculations of “donor fatigue.” This is even as aid agencies brace for the possible spread of disease should the rains start falling in the country.

Kevin McCort, head of CARE Canada, said he doesn’t believe Canadians are weary of giving after several years of disasters around the world. CARE Canada is part of a coalition of humanitarian agencies that was able to draw 275,000 Canadian dollars ($281,000) in one day, on Sept. 14.

Canada’s call for donations to its East Africa Drought Relief Fund ended Sept. 16 midnight. Through the scheme, the government will be matching every dollar that individual Canadians have donated to registered Canadian charities since July 6, 2011.

The Canadian International Development Agency will disburse the funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations. The fund will be in addition to Canada’s earlier contribution of 72 million Canadian dollars.

The World Bank, meanwhile, unveiled a new $30 million grant for nutrition, health and sanitation services that will benefit over half a million people in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The grant, which will be administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is drawn from the $250 million earmarked for the Horn of Africa drought under the recently established Crisis Response Window. CRW is part of the International Development Association.

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell meanwhile, said he has been speaking with his counterparts in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the United States in galvanizing support for the East Africa crisis.

Somalia, on the other hand, has banned foreign aid workers and journalists from entering areas controlled by al-Shabab militants after Somali security forces briefly detained two members of a Turkish charity who delivered food to famine victims in an area controlled by the group.

According to Somali officials, foreign workers should just hand the food over to local non-governmental organizations, which can then deliver the food to famine victims. This is to avoid unnecessary risks to their lives, according to a report by Reuters.


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  • Che

    Che de los Reyes

    As a senior staff writer, Che focuses on international development breaking news coverage as well as interviews and features. Prior to joining Devex, Che handled communications for local and international development NGOs and government institutions in the Philippines.