Save the Children Says New U.S. Pledge to Drought-Ravaged East Africa Will Save Children’s Lives

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Others Should Follow and Quickly Turn Promises into Action, Agency Says

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Tanya Weinberg 202.640.6647 (W), 202.247.6610 (M)

WESTPORT, Conn. (August 8, 2011) — Save the Children welcomed the Obama administration’s Monday announcement of $105 million in additional U.S. assistance to the victims of the harrowing East Africa drought.

“The United States continues to show great leadership in making this additional pledge to millions of hungry and desperate people in the Horn of Africa. With this help, many children who would have died will now live,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO elect of Save the Children.

However, Save the Children warned that even with the generous U.S. contribution, a huge gap remains between the estimated needs and the money that has already been pledged by donor governments.

Such pledges slowed last week, even as the crisis worsened, Save the Children noted. The international humanitarian agency called upon more of the world’s governments – including those wealthier countries that have not traditionally donated to such global crises – to step up and help meet the enormous scale of current need in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

“The next big challenge will come from quickly turning this new American commitment and additional pledges into action on the ground. Any delay will cost lives,” Miles said.

Save the Children also noted that the United States government is able to make today’s lifesaving pledge because there is money in the budget to do so. Proposed cuts to the foreign operations budget could make such actions impossible.

“We call on Congress to protect the development and humanitarian funding that make both saving lives and U.S. global leadership possible,” Miles said.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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