African Union Steps Up to Help Drought Victims

Donors conference pledges $356M
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2011 11:40 AM CDT
African Union Steps Up to Help Drought Victims
A Somali man from southern Somalia cuts tree branches to construct a makeshift shelter in refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

(Newser) – An African donors conference set up by the African Union has pledged $356 million to help alleviate the suffering of the 12 million hit by the drought battering the Horn of Africa. The lion’s share of that sum, $300 million, will come from the African Development Bank, with other African countries and private donors chipping in the rest, Al Jazeera reports.

It’s the first time the AU has held such a conference, and comes during decidedly dire circumstances. The drought is the Horn’s worst in 60 years, and has prompted the UN to declare a state of famine in Somalia. (Read more Somalia stories.)

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