The White House says President Barack Obama has approved an additional $105 million for humanitarian relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, which is facing the worst drought in 60 years. The U.S. assistance will continue funding food, health, shelter, water and sanitation assistance.
The United Nations has warned that famine in East Africa now affects five regions in Somalia and predicts that it could soon expand throughout southern Somalia. Thousands of Somalis are fleeing the famine and seeking refuge in Kenya and Ethiopia, which are also affected by the drought. According to the United Nations, more than 12.4 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Jill Biden arrived today in Kenya with Sen. Bill Frist, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz, and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith. The vice president's office said Biden will visit the Dadaab Refugee Complex, which is receiving thousands of Somali refugees, "to draw the world’s attention to the crisis and pledge U.S. support for relief operations."