Ethiopia: African leaders have raised more than $350m (£215m) in aid for 12 million people facing starvation in the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in decades. Some $1.2bn of the $2.5bn the UN says is needed has been raised worldwide.Civil society organisations said they were disappointed that just four African heads of state attended the African Union summit in Ethiopia.
But the AU said it was not a question of who showed up, but rather how much money was raised.
The much-delayed conference was the first of its kind for the AU and was aimed at meeting the shortfall in global efforts to raise money for humanitarian relief.
Ahead of the meeting, African Union Commission chief Jean Ping urged Africans to “act out against hunger by providing both cash and in-kind support for urgent life-saving assistance to our brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa”.
Asha Rose Migiro, the UN’s deputy secretary general, told the conference that “the future of an entire generation hangs in the balance”.
“We are still not reaching all the people who need help, and the crisis still has not peaked. The cost in human suffering will rise even higher. We must do all that we can to stop the acceleration.”
Notable pledges came from Algeria, Egypt, Angola and South Africa, with Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan, offering $1m.
However, the bulk of the money raised on Thursday – $300m – came from the African Development Bank, to be used for long-term projects in the region.
Reports say in Addis Ababa, 11-year-old Ghanaian schoolboy Andrew Andasi, who has started his own campaign to raise money for drought victims, also attended the summit.
Sseveral African governments had faced criticism for their lack of response.