Thursday, July 28, 2011

Non-traditional donors steeping up for Horn of Africa relief

Something unique is being seen in the donations coming in for Horn of Africa drought relief. Arab nations are stepping up to play a larger role in contributions. In the past they played a secondary role with smaller donations that the west. Their increase from Arab nations ise sorely needed as the EU and US are unable to help as much as they have before.

From the Guardian, the latest commentary from Jeffery Sachs takes a look at some of the economic factors behind the donations.

The "traditional donors", including the US and the EU, have fallen far short of promises they made at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009 to assist smallholder farmers, including pastoralists. Both the US and the EU are in a deep political and financial crisis, meaning that neither is likely to step forward with the scale of emergency and long-term aid to the Horn of Africa that they should normally be expected to fulfill.

In this situation, it is heartening that the Gulf countries, including members of the GCC, have demonstrated a readiness to step up their assistance to the Horn of Africa, just across the Red Sea. These countries are experiencing an impressive rise in export earnings this year, giving them the opportunity to scale up their regional and global leadership as well. The Islamic Development Bank, the leading financing institution of the 57 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), has also shown impressive and inspiring dynamism as well as a commitment to the countries in crisis in the Horn of Africa.

New donors, in short, are stepping forward to help fill the urgent needs of the Horn of Africa. Time is extremely short and the needs are great. Generosity and speed are of the essence.

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