East African Crisis Attracts Attention, Donations from Countries, Children

    China is among the latest countries to announce it is stepping up contributions to the East African Crisis response. Countries and international aid agencies, however, are not the only ones working to find funds for famine and drought victims in the Horn of Africa: A schoolboy in Ghana aims to raise $13 million for the region.

    “I saw a BBC documentary about Somalia and I looked to my father and asked why are they so lean and hungry like that,” 11-year-old Andrew Andasi told the Agence France-Presse. “I thought, I should help them.”

    Andasi has raised $4,000 so far out of his $13 million target, according to News24.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese government has pledged to step up its aid for the Horn of Africa through collaborations with the the International Committee of of the Red Cross. On Thursday, Aug. 25, the Red Cross Society of China announced a 4 million yuan ($623,000) donation to ICRC operations in the region, Xinhua News reports.

    ICRC is among the international aid organizations with access to various parts of Somalia, including those controlled by the militant group al-Shabab.

    “We have full access,” ICRC spokesperson for Somalia Yves Van Loo said in an interview with the British Red Cross. “We work with the acceptance of all groups and authorities. When we meet them, we introduce ourselves and explain our principles of neutrality and impartiality. People understand that we want to conduct the whole operation ourselves.”

    Van Loo said the group, in collaboration with the Somalia Red Cross, has distributed more than 3,000 tons of food in eight provinces in southern Somalia.

    “This was the first food distribution for the last two years, and we were able to reach all the places so the people were really happy,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Save the Children, another international aid group responding to the East African crisis, recently launched a mass feeding program for Kenyan children under 3. The feeding program also targets pregnant women and lactating mothers.

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    About the author

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      Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.