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Hillary Clinton Visits IFPRI to Reiterate U.S. Commitment to Solving the Crisis in Horn of Africa

August 11, 2011

"What is happening in the Horn of Africa is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today, and the worst that East Africa has seen in several decades." - Secretary Clinton to audience of IFPRI staff and those engaged in Horn of Africa crisis.

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton visited the Washington, DC headquarters of the International Food Policy Research to reiterate U.S. commitment to solving the present crisis in the Horn of Africa.  In a very informative and insightful speech, Secretary Clinton shed light on U.S. investment in the region and present efforts to curb the crisis.  She called the situation in the Horn of Africa “the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today.”

She revealed that the U.S. would be committing $17 million new dollars, bringing U.S. humanitarian assistance to more than $580 million this year.

Secretary Clinton made references to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process in regards to Ethiopia and Kenya, who have already committed to investing 10 percent of annual gross domestic product into agriculture for long-term food security.  “Both governments have developed country investment plans; both have committed to invest at least 10 percent of their national budget on agriculture. Kenya is nearly there and Ethiopia has exceeded that goal,” she said.  ReSAKSS is directly involved in ensuring that the CAADP process and other agriculture and food security efforts continue, not just for Kenya and Ethiopia, but for the entire continent. (View Kenya and Ethiopia CAADP investment plans.)

She highlighted other unique work being done on the ground. The “Neighbors for Nations: Uniting Communities to Help Somalia has been very successful in Minneapolis for the Somali diaspora.  She discussed mobile phone based aid, Souktel, that “designs and delivers mobile phone services that link people with jobs and connect aid agencies with communities who need help.”

IFPRI researchers are working rigorously to respond to needs of those on the ground for long-term growth and food security for Horn of Africa nations.  Secretary Clinton praised IFPRI research and policy implementation efforts to do such things like enhance nutritional substance with micronutrients and provide of better seeds for crops.  IFPRI is a recipient of USAID donor funds and is presently engaged with President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative.

The full length of Clinton’s 30 minute speech can be viewed or read from the Secretary of State webpage.

Opening remarks by Director of IFPRI, Shenggen Fan can be viewed on the IFPRI site.

Let’s use this opportunity to make very clear what more we need to do together to try to avoid this [crisis in the Horn of Africa from] happening again. And I could think of no better place to come to make that plea and to issue that challenge than to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

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