U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice today said over 11 million lives at risk, and in need of assistance as famine hits some regions in Somalia.
At the Security Council Stakeout on the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa, Ms. Rice stated that UN has declared famine in parts of Somalia today.
“It goes without saying that the situation is grave, over 11 million lives at risk, and in need of assistance. This is indeed a crisis situation, and one that has been exacerbated quite directly by the refusal of al-Shabaab to allow critically needed humanitarian assistance to reach over 60 percent of the people who need it most, over the course of the last year and more.” -Ms. Rice
She underscored that the United States has been and remains the largest donor of bilateral humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa, contributing this year alone already $459 million, including an additional $28 million that Secretary Clinton just announced today.
Ms. Rice highlighted that the United States will continue to focus on the issue and to provide support to the region.
“This is a global challenge, and it is one that requires the concerted effort and support of the wide range of donors that are in a position to assist.” -Ms. Rice
She said the U.S. government will be supportive of the United Nations as its agencies and funds and programs do the essential work of providing for and supporting those most in need.