Somalia to benefit from $533m US drought aid package


Somalia will be among a number of African countries to benefit in the new US aid announced Tuesday by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ahead of his tour of select countries.

The announcement also came a day after donors meeting in London called for sustained aid support to Somalia to avert a potential famine.

Besides Somalia, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and the West and Central African countries bordering Lake Chad will also share out the aid package.

The UK Tuesday announced a further £24.6 million to stave off drought in Somalia adding to £86 million UK’s UK funding towards the 2018 humanitarian response in Somalia.

Speaking ahead of his visit o Africa Tuesday, Tillerson also said the United States supported the creation of a development finance institution for Africa.

Tillerson contrasted the United States’ work on the African continent, which he said promoted “sustainable growth,” with that of China, which recently pledged $124 billion for its Silk Road plan to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and other places. Tillerson said China’s investment in Africa “encouraged dependency”.

“Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa’s infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and few, if any, jobs in most countries,” said Tillerson.

“When coupled with the political and fiscal pressure, this endangers Africa’s natural resources and its long-term economic and political stability,” Tillerson added.

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