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Clinton: U.S. to send $17 million more for famine relief

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that the United States will contribute another $17 million for humanitarian relief from famine in the Horn of Africa, but called for continued support for the Obama administration’s “Feed the Future” initiative, which aids long-term agricultural development in the region.

In a speech at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Clinton noted that President Barack Obama had announced a $105 million donation on Monday and that the total U.S. commitment to the Horn of Africa in humanitarian relief is $550 million, the largest of any country. The money will be used to buy food, provide therapeutic food aid for those who are ill and other services in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, she said.

But Clinton also noted that, while drought triggered the famine, the situation has also been caused by human action because the region has such poor agricultural services, and lacks markets in good times and trade rules.

Clinton acknowledged that the budget climate is tough, but said the United States and other developed countries must live up to the pledges they have made to provide money for long-term agricultural development in Africa.

Countries have stepped up with humanitarian aid, but they also need to help “create lasting food security,” she said.

Clinton also called on the African countries to liberalize trade, saying that the African countries have more trade barriers and are more limited in intra-continental trade than any other region of the world.

Clinton also encourage individuals to make donations to groups providing aid and directed individuals to a listing at the U.S. Agency for International Development web site.