|Congressman Keith Ellison Applauds Additional Aid for the Horn of Africa|
|December 23, 2011|
Obama Administration to send $113 million emergency relief to region
MINNEAPOLIS—President Obama on Thursday announced the United States will send an additional $113 million in emergency relief assistance for the Horn of Africa, which is suffering its worst drought in 60 years and affecting more than 13 million people.
The funding will help provide support urgently needed food, health, shelter, water and assistance to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.
“The thousands of Minnesota residents with family members in the Horn of Africa welcome this much-needed humanitarian aid and I thank President Obama for taking this important step,” said Rep. Ellison (D-MN) “Millions of people in that region are affected by the famine and almost 250,000 are on the brink of starvation right now so the timing of this latest aid is crucial.”
The drought and famine in the Horn of Africa has gained additional attention in Minneapolis recently because of Sunrise Bank’s stated decision to end its wire service to Somalia, part of the African region suffering from the famine. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates remittances from American Somalis total $100 million and have shielded many Somalis from hunger and starvation.
Sunrise Bank’s program is scheduled to end December 30, 2011.
“My office continues to work with the appropriate federal agencies to find a solution so this critical service can remain available,” Rep. Ellison added. “I appreciate everything Sunrise bank has done to find a solution to this issue.”