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Turkey raises $201 million for Somalia

ANKARA/ADDIS ABABA/ISTANBUL | 8/26/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkish people have collected a total of $201 million in donations for famine-stricken Somalia since the aid campaign started Aug. 1, the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Directorate, or AFAD, said late Thursday.

Turkish people have collected a total of $201 million in donations for famine-stricken Somalia since the aid campaign started Aug. 1, the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Directorate, or AFAD, said late Thursday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week visited the Somali capital city of Mogadishu and several refugee camps in the country, pledging more cash and infrastructure assistance. Turkey has thus far sent eight planes and three ships carrying humanitarian-relief supplies to the east African nation.

African leaders pledged nearly $380 million to help famine-hit families in the Horn of Africa, where Somalia is located, during a donor conference held Thursday. The African Development Bank announced in a statement a donation of $300 million for long-term development in the Horn of Africa, with the funds to be spent by 2013.

Individual African countries promised to donate a total of $51 million in aid, with the most generous being Algeria ($10 million), Egypt ($6 million) and Angola ($5 million). African nations also pledged $28.8 million in food aid during the donor conference, held at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital.

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday that the EU’s immediate humanitarian commitment to drought victims in Africa for this year had risen from 97 million euros to 158 million euros, while national aid pledges from the bloc’s member states totaled a further 440 million euros.

 The World Bank on July 25 pledged more than $500 million to help the region.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Aug. 11 that her country would give an extra $17 million to combat famine in the Horn of Africa, including $12 million to help Somalis – bringing total U.S. humanitarian aid to the region to more than $580 million this year.

Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, promised Aug. 17 to donate $350 million, including $150 million from Turkey alone, to Somalia.

The drought in the Horn of Africa is affecting 12.4 million people, according to the United Nations, which says the continent is facing its most serious food crisis since the famine in Somalia in 1991-1992.

* Compiled from AA, AP, Reuters and AFP reports by the Daily News staff.

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