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International Community Announces New Partnership to Strengthen Resilience against Disasters in the Horn of Africa

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 07:30 AM
Contributors: USAID
USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, African partners, and the international community announced a new partnership today to promote resilience against disasters. Senior officials made the announcement at a two-day development conference on the Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

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The partnership-the Global Alliance for Action for Drought Resilience and Growth-will strengthen coordination between development partners, increase economic growth, build new partnerships with the private sector, and reduce food insecurity. This partnership capitalizes on the great progress that has been made by African governments and international organizations in implementing agricultural strategies and investments.

As outlined by President Obama's Feed the Future Initiative, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah emphasized the U.S. government's priority to reduce food insecurity through strategic investments.

"Thanks to lessons learned, we are making key reforms in the way we respond to crises, limiting their impact and helping to break the cycle of drought and famine," said Shah. "USAID's support for resilience programs alone could help as many as one million people from relying on humanitarian assistance, and this global partnership could help millions more."

International donor co-hosts of the conference have collectively committed more than $4 billion towards resilience efforts in the Horn of Africa. This includes USAID's plans to commit more than $280 million in FY 2011 and 2012.

Countries in the Horn of Africa are still recovering from the worst drought in 60 years. This crisis devastated communities, spread famine throughout southern Somalia, uprooted thousands of families, and put more than 13 million people at severe risk.

USAID's aggressive response to the recent crisis helped to save more than 4.6 million vulnerable people by providing food and improved the lives of millions more through increased access to water, sanitation, and critical medical assistance.

Since 2004 alone, billions of dollars have been spent responding to droughts in the Horn of Africa. These dollars can be more effective at reducing the need for future humanitarian responses if they are invested to build resilience between and throughout these disastrous drought cycles, saving millions of lives.

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