Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–August 8, 2011. Dr. Jill Biden has arrived in Kenya with Senator Bill Frist, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz, and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith. Dr. Biden’s trip will underscore the United States’ commitment to working with the governments and people of the region, and the international community, to assist the people of the Horn of Africa during this urgent time of need, and to investing in long-term solutions to hunger and food insecurity in the region. Amid the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years, the United Nations has declared that famine now affects five regions in Somalia and predicts that famine could soon expand throughout southern Somalia. Thousands of Somalis are fleeing the famine and seeking refuge in Kenya and Ethiopia, which are also affected by the drought. According to the United Nations, more than 12.4 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Dr. Biden will visit the Dadaab Refugee Complex, which is receiving thousands of Somali refugees, to draw the world’s attention to the crisis and pledge U.S. support for relief operations.
Dr. Biden will also highlight the support of the United States for development efforts across the region, and will visit the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Nairobi. During this visit, Dr. Biden will meet with government of Kenya officials, including Minister of Agriculture Hon. Dr. Sally J. Kosgei, and highlight the Obama-Biden Administration’s Feed the Future program, which is investing in country-led strategies designed to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity around the world. Because emergency assistance alone cannot solve the underlying food insecurity in the region, institutions like KARI and Feed the Future are also critical at this time.
Dr. Biden will meet with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to highlight the ongoing partnership between our countries and to discuss how the United States can work with international partners on the best response to this crisis.