U.S. biggest African famine relief donor
Saudi Arabia top Muslim country donor
A United Nations list of countries donating aid money to the Horn of Africa famine shows that the United States is by far the biggest donor, having given around $580 million in aid this year.
The UN says the world community has given $1.1 billion in aid so far, but that $1.3 billion more is needed to help the more than 12 million people in need. At least 30,000 people have already died.
Britain is the second-biggest donor at $205 million, followed by Japan and Australia. Saudi Arabia is next at $60 million. It is the biggest donor from the Muslim world.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday announced another $17 million in U.S. funding. She said the drought is a reminder of the need to invest in global agriculture.
The UN estimates more than 11 million people across East Africa need food aid because of a long-running drought.
It's estimated over 29,000 children under the age of five have died as a result of the famine in Somalia in the past three months alone, in the country's worst drought in 60 years.
The crisis in Somalia has been exacerbated by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab's refusal to allow many aid groups to deliver supplies in parts of the country it controls.
The Canadian government has contributed or pledged $72 million to the region this year. Last month, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda announced the government would match donations made to the relief effort between July 6 and September 16.
Major Canadian aid groups raise $12 million so far
The Humanitarian Coalition, representing five of Canada's leading aid organizations — CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada — on Friday said that together with the Red Cross, its members have raised about $12 million so far for relief efforts.
Relatively speaking, that is a very slow pace compared to past efforts.
During the first two months following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Canada distributed $150 million to emergency relief agencies, according to the Canada Haiti Action Network.
Miriam Palacios of Oxfam Canada said donor fatigue is an issue for East African relief efforts. Bas Brusche of the Canadian Red Cross said the slow response appears to be matching the pace at which the disaster is unfolding. He said people are not reacting quickly because the drought has been years in the making and they lack a sense of urgency.
The UN says it has only raised $1.1 billion of the $2.4 billion requested from donor countries for famine relief in the Horn of Africa.
With files from CBC