International community must come together to end famine – U S. Envoy

Thomas-Greenfield said that she heard and saw in Somalia that because of COVID-19, conflicts and climate change,  threat of famine had returned.

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Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, has called on the international community to “step up and do more” to end famine.

Thomas-Greenfield made the call on Monday at a news conference on her trip to Kenya, Ghana, Somalia, and Mozambique.

The conference was to announce the efforts of her country in addressing food and regional security issues and strengthening partnerships with key current and former UN Security Council members.

Thomas-Greenfield said that she heard and saw in Somalia that because of COVID-19, conflicts, and climate change, the threat of famine had returned.

According to the envoy,  the word “famine” should be an anachronism.

She said that the tools to banish famine were available.

“I announced 40 million dollars in new, additional funding from the U.S. to Somalia to save lives, starve-off famine and meet humanitarian needs, but the truth is the United States can’t do this alone.

“Those countries with the means to give more must heed the call of humanity. 

“There is no reason we cannot get resources across to people in acute need,” she said.

She said that famine situation in Somalia remained dire, with hundreds of people dying from starvation.

“We are not out of the woods yet. What I heard when I was in the region is that they have had five rainfalls over the course of the past year.  The sixth one is upcoming in the March-April timeframe.

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“If we don’t ramp up our efforts, then we stand another chance of reaching famine-like conditions, if not an actual famine.

“We are working very closely with  humanitarian organisations, other donor-countries involved, and with communities, to do everything possible to ensure that we save lives and that we avert a famine a second time around.”

Thomas-Greenfield added that the U.S. had given close to 2.3 billion dollars for efforts to fight food insecurity and climate change across the Horn of Africa.

According to her, the work of the U.S. is complementary to what is taking place on the continent of Africa.

She hailed strong partnership of over six decades between the U.S. and Kenya.

She described it as a deep and broad relationship of shared values, democracy and good governance, and respect for human rights.

She added that Kenya had been a strong partner in addressing some regional concerns, hailing its significant contribution to the ceasefire  in Ethiopia and efforts to address the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We are committed to supporting Kenya’s vision for its development journey through locally-led initiatives and strengthening institutions.

“We have worked very closely with the Kenyan Government to address food security issues, and we are working very closely with them to address the issues of terrorism and insecurity in the region.

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“Kenya is in a good place at the moment, and we are hoping to continue to strengthen the partnership that we have with them,” Thomas-Greenfield said.