East African Crisis Response Update: New Pledges from OIC, UK

As aid agencies scramble to respond to rising needs of famine victims in the Horn of Africa, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Kingdom have announced new pledges to help famine victims in Somalia. This comes even while agencies attempt to address challenges such as food aid theft.

Members countries of OIC pledged a total of $350 million during an emergency meeting held Aug. 17 in Istanbul, Turkey.

“All in all we have secured $350 million in pledges. We hope to raise the commitments to $500 million in a very short time,” Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OIC’s secretary general, said after the summit.

Ihsanoglu also urged donors to help Somalia rebuild its infrastructure and agriculture system in order to improve the country’s food security situation.

Meanwhile, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said his country is providing an additional 25 million ($41.3 million) pound aid package for children in Somalia. The new funding will be coursed through UNICEF and is expected to finance the supply of food aid, vaccines, and malaria testing and treatment kits for children over the next few months.

Mitchell announced the new pledge during his recent visit to Mogadishu, which marked the first time a British minister visited Somalia’s capital city in 18 years.

Switzerland has also announced additional aid for the East African crisis response: 20 million Swiss francs ($25.3 million) for drought victims in Somalia and for malnourished children in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

Meanwhile, private donations to Canadian aid organizations responding to the East African crisis reportedly reached 20 million Canadian dollars ($20.35 million) as of Aug. 17. The Canadian government has pledged to match all donations made from July 6 to Sept. 16 to eligible non-governmental organizations.

Read more news on the East African crisis.

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About the author

  • 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.