Italy to send emergency aid to Horn of Africa

August 19th, 2011 - 10:13 am ICT by IANS  

Rome, Aug 19 (IANS) Italy will send 30 tonnes of emergency aid to the Horn of Africa region to help deal with the drought and famine situation there, the foreign ministry said.

A special flight will leave the country for Nairobi, Kenya and then transport the aid to a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camp in Dadaab in northern Kenya, which hosts over 400,000 refugees, mostly women and children who have fled the civil war in Somalia, Xinhua reported.

The aid consists of necessary items like tents, drinking water containers, electricity generators, blankets and cooking utensils, the ministry said.

The UNHCR has appealed for additional aid due to the devastating drought.

Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has also held a meeting among its members and humanitarian and development agencies focusing on the crisis in the Horn of Africa.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said: “In this era, with all the financial, technological and professional resources at our disposal, it is inadmissible that 12 million people are at risk of famine.”

“What we are witnessing today is the unfortunate result of three decades of under-investment in agriculture and rural development. Means to collect and store water, roads and other infrastructure should be at the top of the priority list for nations and other donors,” he said.

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