Leading economies in the Asia-Pacific region have donated 275 million dollars in emergency aid to countries in the Horn of Africa, 18 per cent of the crisis contributions to date, UN
officials said Friday, according to dpa.
"This reflects the emerging role of countries in Asia and the
Pacific which are looking beyond their regions to how they can make a
difference globally," said Oliver Lacy-Hall, regional head of the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The region's leading donor nations to the African famine victims
included Australia (105 million dollars), Japan (96 million), China
(68 million), South Korea (4.3 million) and New Zealand (1.5
China has supplied 16 million dollars in cash to the World Food
Programme, and the remainder in shipments of grain and rice to
Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, which should arrive shortly.
The response from Australia, ranked as the fourth-largest donor to
the Horn of Africa, reflects a shift in aid policy under Prime
Minister Julia Gillard from focusing on the region to further afield.
While Asia-Pacific has played a bigger role than usual, the top
there donors to the African famine crisis to date were the US,
European Union and Britain.
"Asia's contribution has been impressive to date, but we still
desperately need more money. This is an extremely complex
humanitarian emergency and it is intensifying," Lacy-Hall said.
"This is not a short-term crisis. We expect the situation to get
worse and continue well into the start of 2012," he added.
More than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa are facing
starvation because of the worst drought in 60 years. Somalia is the
hardest-hit country, and others severely impacted are Djibouti,
Ethiopia and Kenya.