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 Home > News & Policies > June 2005

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 7, 2005

Fact Sheet: Addressing Hunger and Humanitarian Emergencies in Africa

“Through all our efforts to fight disease and hunger, we can spare people in many nations from untold suffering, and Africa especially. Millions are facing great affliction, but with our help, they will not face it alone. America has a special calling to come to their aid, and we will do so with the compassion and generosity that have always defined the United States."

President George W. Bush, February 1, 2003

Today's Action

  • Today, President Bush announced approximately $674 million of additional resources to respond to humanitarian emergencies in Africa. Together President Bush and Prime Minister Blair called on the international community to increase their funding for the humanitarian emergencies in Africa. They called on the world to provide increased resources for humanitarian relief for emergencies occurring now and for those that might arise in the future. While furthering our efforts with African nations on development, we cannot overlook the urgent humanitarian needs of today.
  • $414 million of the additional resources will be provided immediately to avert famine in the Horn of Africa. With these resources, the United States will help meet the food needs for the estimated 14-million people at risk in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and provide additional resources to Somalia and Djibouti.
  • Prime Minister Blair confirmed the UK's commitment to provide $125 million to the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia. The UK and the United States commend this determined effort to change the dynamic from dependence to sustainable livelihoods.
  • The President and the Prime Minister are taking decisive action now so food and other assistance can be delivered to those in need before famine strikes.
  • Other interventions are needed in a timely, complementary manner elsewhere in Africa.

The funding announced today includes:

  • An estimated $674 million from the United States for emergency relief in Africa.
    • An estimated $250 million for food aid from the Emerson Humanitarian Trust;
    • $240 million for food aid from the emergency supplemental; and
    • $184 million for emergency humanitarian assistance from the emergency supplemental.

Humanitarian Emergencies

  • The United Nations has appealed for $4.5 billion in resources for humanitarian emergencies in Africa to assist approximately 44-million people obtain their basic human requirements of food, water, shelter, health care, and sanitation. The United Nations estimates that $3.5 billion of that request has not been met. The United States has already provided nearly $1.4 billion this fiscal year for humanitarian needs in Africa, some through the United Nations and some directly to non-governmental organizations providing relief in emergency settings. The $674 million announced today would be in addition to the funds already provided by the United States.
  • The causes of these emergencies are varied, and these resources are intended to meet the basic requirements of those in need. The African nations themselves remain responsible for the well-being of their citizens and must also take the appropriate actions to address the root causes of the crises, as well as support emergency relief needs. We will continue to work with African nations in this regard.

Breaking the Cycle of Famine

  • The G-8, through its “Breaking the Cycle of Famine” initiative, is engaged with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and others to improve agricultural productivity in Africa. We will continue to work with NEPAD to support its Comprehensive Agriculture Action Plan, including through more sustainable land and water management, market-oriented agricultural policies, improved infrastructure, access to finance, more developed regional markets, and science and technology.