White House Announces $105 Million More in Aid to Horn of Africa, Total $565 Million

By Penny Starr | August 8, 2011 | 6:02 PM EDT

A refugee camp in Kenya, Africa. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Just hours after President Barack Obama said on Monday that the United States does not need a credit rating agency to tell us we need a “balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction,” the White House announced that an additional $105 million in humanitarian aid for the Horn of Africa had been approved by Obama.

The announcement said the additional funds bring the total humanitarian aid provided by the United States “this year alone” to $565 million. The funds are being used for “food, health, shelter, water and sanitation assistance.”

The Horn of Africa is on the eastern coast, a peninsula that juts into the Arabian Sea below Yemen. The African states there include Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

“Amid the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years, the United Nations has declared that famine now affects five regions in Somalia and predicts that famine could soon expand throughout southern Somalia,” the announcement stated.   “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,” said the announcement.

The vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, is in Kenya this week to visit a refugee camp where thousands of Somalis are living, the White House said.

Mrs. Biden will meet with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to discuss how the United States can work with international partners on the humanitarian crisis in Africa, the press release on Mrs.Biden’s trip stated.