Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

The Passing of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

August 21, 2012

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.

I admired the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to transforming Ethiopia’s economy and to expanding education and health services. He was an important and influential voice in Africa, and we especially valued his role in promoting peace and security in the region. I am confident that Ethiopia will peacefully navigate the political transition according to its constitution.

On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the people of Ethiopia, and to reaffirm our commitment to a strong partnership focused on strengthening development, democracy and human rights, and regional security.

From Foreign Policy Morning Brief:

Ethiopia: Longtime Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died in the hospital of an infection on Monday. He was a strong ally of the U.S. in the war on terror, but his iron-fisted policies at home made him a controversial figure.

The link above goes to the NYT obituary.  In the photo below she is with the Foreign Minister/Deputy Prime Minister who, according to the obituary,  will succeed the late Prime Minister and has a really interesting name, Haile-Mariam Desalegne.  Although Haile (as in Haile Selassie*) appears common enough among men’s names in Ethiopia,  hyphenated with Mariam it seems to translate to “Hail Mary,” which, if you only know those words from football, is a Catholic prayer.  His surname, Desalegne looks like it would be pronounced almost exactly the same as Dessalines, as in Jean-Jacques Dessalines, hero of the Haitian Revolution and first ruler of The First Black Republic.   It is an interesting coincidence since  Ethiopia is in east Africa and Haitian slaves who revolted against the French were Fon-speaking people from west Africa.

*Haile Selassie considered a religious figure by Jamaican Rastafarians (who smoke you-know-what as part of their rites).

(Sorry.  That was my “geek-moment.”)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks with Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Haile-Mariam Desalegne at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)

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What a pleasant surprise to  turn on the CBS Evening News and find that  Scott Pelley interviewed Secretary Clinton today!   He asked her about the U.S. policy and position toward the Assad regime in Syria. Here is her response.

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Interview With Scott Pelley of CBS Evening News


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 11, 2011

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. You are in close coordination with all of the European Union countries, and I wonder how much confidence you have that the European nations are going to be able to create a soft landing for their debt crisis that doesn’t wreck the economy here in the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Scott, I think it’s very clear that the global economy has made us even more interdependent, and we’ve seen that in so many ways over the last three years. We are certainly supporting what the Europeans are trying to do. Our Treasury Secretary and other officials are in constant communication with their counterparts. Obviously, the President has spoken with his, and I’ve spoken with mine. And this is a very challenging economic time for many of us, but I believe that we’ll see actions taken that will provide the so-called soft landing that you’re talking about.

QUESTION: The stock market is terribly worried about Europe right now. I wonder what your confidence level is?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m confident that we’re going to weather this crisis, and not just our own country, because I think that we have very strong reasons to be confident, but I think also, our partners around the world, most particularly in Europe. That doesn’t mean we can be complacent, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to take care of itself. It requires concerted action by governments and by businesses in order to reclaim the lost ground and get growth going again, because ultimately, it is about jobs for people. It’s about people feeling that they have a stake in their own future.

And I think we do have to all pay more attention to how we’re going to create jobs in the so-called developed world that are going to be available for the vast majority of middle-income and lower-income men and women, who are being basically marginalized in the way the global economy is growing.

QUESTION: The Obama Administration has described Bashar al-Asad as illegitimate, and I wonder if it’s time for him to go?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s going to be up to the Syrian people, but I can tell you that President Obama and I have been working very hard to marshal international opinion. When we started with our criticism of Asad, people, to be very frank, kind of said, “Well, yeah, the United States doesn’t get along with Syria, so that’s to be expected.” And we have spent an enormous amount of diplomatic time and effort creating what is a crescendo of condemnatory comments from an increasingly large chorus of international opinion.

And what is important is that the Syrian people know that the United States is on the side of a peaceful transition to democracy. We believe that they have the same right as people anywhere to choose their own leaders, to have the kind of democratic institutions that will maximize their individual opportunities. But we also took a long time convincing even our colleagues on the Security Council to issue a statement, which we finally got done about 10 days ago. And then in rapid succession, we’ve seen the Arab League, we’ve seen the King of Saudi Arabia, we’ve seen the Gulf Cooperating Council, we’ve seen a very strong stand by Turkey and certainly our European friends.

So we are building what I think is a much more persuasive case that the international community – not just the United States – wants to see peaceful change in Syria.

QUESTION: You’re talking about U.S. leadership. Why doesn’t the U.S. lead and take that one half step further and say that Asad’s time is done; he has to go?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we’ve been very clear in what we have said about his loss of legitimacy. I think we were among the very first to say it. We’ve sent a very clear message that he should be doing what is necessary to end the violence against his own people. But it’s important that it’s not just the American voice, and we want to make sure that those voices are coming from around the world. And the Russians and the Chinese joined our presidential statement, after saying that they would never do anything to condemn the Asad regime.

We’ve issued more sanctions, tougher sanctions. We’re working with our European and other friends. But what we really need to do to put the pressure on Asad is to sanction the oil and gas industry, and we want to see Europe take more steps in that direction. And we want to see China take steps with us. We want to see India, because India and China have large energy investments inside of Syria. We want to see Russia cease selling arms to the Asad regime.

So I come from the school that we want results, not rhetoric. And what we have done for the last several months is – behind the scenes and in front of the cameras – to build the pressure on Asad and the people around him. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind where the United States stands. We’ve reached out to the opposition, we have been very proud of our ambassador, who has carried the message of our country and our values right into Hama, into the heart of the Syrian repression. So I think we have done what is actually going to pay off rather than just rhetorically calling for him to go.

QUESTION: Asad right at this moment seems to be pressing for the end – attacking his people, attacking his cities in a most vigorous way to put an end to it before the pressure you describe ousts him from power.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but I think the pressure requires an organized opposition, and there isn’t one, Scott. There is a lot of sort of beginning sprouts of such an opposition. There are local coordination councils around the country. There are very brave Syrians who are standing up and risking their lives, even losing their lives. There are Syrian opposition figures outside of Syria and inside. But there’s no address for the opposition. There is no place that any of us who wish to assist can go. So part of what we’ve been encouraging and trying to facilitate is for the opposition to become unified.

Syria has a lot of divisions, and one of the reasons why this has been challenging for those of us who have been watching from the outside is that there are many communities – minority communities within Syria – who are, frankly, saying the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t. And so they have continued in Damascus, in Aleppo, to support the Syrian regime not because they agree with what is being done, but because they’re worried about what could come next. So part of what we’ve been doing is to encourage the opposition to adopt the kind of unified agenda rooted in democratic change, inclusivity. So if you’re a Christian, if you’re a Kurd, if you’re a Druze, if you’re an Alawite, if you’re a Sunni, inside Syria there will be a place for you in the future.

So I know everybody gets very impatient. They’d like to see change yesterday. Well, we certainly think Syria deserves democracy, but we also know that you have to replace somebody with somebody else, and that somebody else is still in formation.

QUESTION: Last question before Somalia, but relating to something that you mentioned a moment ago: Is the United States going to sanction the oil and gas industries that are involved in Syria?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. We have very little stake in it, so it’s not – so again, we have such a small stake in what they produce and what they market. The real trick is to convince the Europeans and the Arabs and the Chinese and the Indians and others. Because again, I mean, we’re going to sanction, and we have been upping the sanctions. We’re going to continue to do so. But we want others to follow, because Syria was not one of our major economic partners. It wasn’t anybody that we had a particularly good relationship with before this all started, although we were open to improving the relationship if they showed that they were going to make changes. And obviously, that’s not in the cards right now.

QUESTION: You’re not going to say he has to go?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are, I think, building the chorus of international condemnation. And rather than us saying it and nobody else following, we think it’s important to lead and have others follow as well.

He also asked her about the situation in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.  She had spoken about this crisis earlier today.  That speech is in the previous post.  She spoke with such empathy, gentleness, and concern.   Her compassion is  so pure.  When I hear her speak this way, she can break my heart.

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HRC on CBS: Famine in the Horn of Africa, posted with vodpod

QUESTION: What are your concerns about al-Shabaab in Somalia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have many concerns about al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab is a terrorist group. Al-Shabaab has been particularly brutal, even barbaric, to the people under their control, even before this famine has so devastated the Somali people. Al-Shabaab has imposed the worst kind of punishments for what they consider to be violations of their particularly perverted, distorted view of Islam. And so they have posed a threat to the United States and to our friends and neighbors. They were behind an attack in Kampala, Uganda because Uganda has been very important in our efforts to try to beat back al-Shabaab, and we’ve made progress, thanks to an organized African effort supported by the United States and others.

But what we’ve seen in recent weeks just beggars the imagination, Scott. I mean, it’s one thing to have a view of religion that is so brutal and totally at odds with anything that anyone else believes, but it’s something entirely different to prevent women and children from getting to a place where they could be saved, where the children could be fed, where women wouldn’t be watching their babies die in their arms. And we have seen no indication that al-Shabaab has a heart. This is Ramadan. If there were ever a time for a group that claims to be adhering to their own form of Islam – they apparently don’t know what Ramadan means, because they are doing nothing to assist the international community or even on their own to assist the people that they control.

And I’ve called on them and their leaders to show some mercy and some compassion. We can get back to squaring off against one another after we save the lives of women and children. So far, we’ve seen no evidence that they’re willing to do that.

QUESTION: Is the United States Government aiding the training of anti-Shabaab militias in Somalia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the United States Government helps to fund the AMISOM Mission, and the AMISOM Mission has made the difference between clawing back territory from al-Shabaab and losing all of Somalia to this terrorist group. So we have, for a long time, supported African troops under an African mission to work with the Transitional Federal Government that is in place in Mogadishu. And I have seen progress over the last two and a half years. I met with the head of the TFG in Kenya in August of 2009 and —

QUESTION: The Transitional Federal Government.

SECRETARY CLINTON: The Transitional Federal Government. Look, they have a long way to go. They are only learning on the job, so to speak, about how to govern. Somali-Americans have gone home to Mogadishu to try to help prevent this perversion that al-Shabaab practices from destroying their country.

But Somalia has been in turmoil and living with violence for a very long time now. We all remember, first, President George H. W. Bush and then President Clinton trying to help the Somali people in the early ’90s. And it was a very terrible incident with our soldiers being killed and mistreated. So the world, for a number of years, said, “Look, Somalia is just too violent, too complex. We cannot deal with it.” And at that time, there was a lot of – it was mostly an inter-clan conflict.

But what we’ve seen in the last several years is the rise of al-Shabaab, which proudly claims some affinity with al-Qaida, which tries to work with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. And so this then became a direct threat to us, not just a tragedy on the ground in Somalia, but a threat to not only the United States but the rest of the world.

QUESTION: In addition to the African Union forces, are we supporting or providing training or providing the money for training of other militias inside Somalia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we’re doing what we can to support Uganda and others who are part of the AMISOM Mission to do what they need to do to help not only beat back al-Shabaab, but to help train an indigenous Somali force to stand on its own against al-Shabaab.

QUESTION: And training is integral to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Of course it is. I mean, part of the challenge is making sure that people are trained to use equipment, to know how to engage in the kind of warfare to deal with the threat of suicide bombers. I mean, there’s a lot that has to be learned. It’s – it is certainly welcome that people would want to stand up and fight for their family and their country, but they need to be able to know how to do it.

QUESTION: When you see these pictures that are coming out of the famine emergency, what do you think?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. Well, it just breaks my heart because there is no doubt that some of this is the unfortunate consequence of weather patterns, of drought. But I would say most of it is because of bad policies and bad people, and that’s what really upsets me.

An act of God is an act of God. You deal with an earthquake, you deal with a tsunami. But there is so much more we could do to help in this, and we’ve tried to. We fund something called the Famine Early Warning System Network. It gave us an indication last year that a famine was on the way, and not just because of weather patterns but because of violence, because of conflict, because of inaccessible areas to be able to provide support. So we pre-position food. And we’ve worked with the Governments of Ethiopia and Kenya. We’ve certainly worked to support the UN and both American and international NGOs. But then you see these pictures and you know how many people are dying because they can’t get help where they are, because you have this terrorist group, al-Shabaab, that has no regard for the lives of the people in the areas they control.

QUESTION: How is the United States responding to the emergency?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we are responding very effectively in the face of a very large challenge. We’re by far the largest donor, over $550 million that we have put into trying to help save lives. We’re not only providing emergency foodstuffs – particularly what is needed when you’re terribly malnourished and you can’t eat whole food; you have to have nutritional supplements – but also we’re helping with water, we’re helping with sanitation and healthcare, we’re trying to vaccinate people so that there are not epidemics in the refugee camps. We’re supporting Kenya, which has been an extremely gracious host to hundreds of thousands of Somalis who have come over their border over the last years because of the fighting there. And we’re working with the Government of Ethiopia.

But at the same time, Scott – and I want to emphasize this because the American people are very generous and we do respond to tragedies and natural disasters – we have to change the trajectory here. And so what we did from the very beginning of this Administration was to say, look, we are the best at responding to food disasters. The United States is the major supporter of the World Food Program. We’re there with food. We set up this early warning system. We are great at responding to disasters.

But we’ve got to do more to change the underlying conditions. So we started a program called Feed the Future, which represents the best thinking in agricultural productivity, in nutritional supplementation, in marketing of food, everything that goes into what makes for greater self-sufficiency. And Ethiopia and Kenya are two of the countries we’ve been working with over the last two and a half years. What are policies that need to be changed at the governmental level that encourage more food production?

And the last time there was a famine in Ethiopia – I’m old enough to remember, the pictures were very similar to what you’re showing – it affected 12 million people. This year, this famine is affecting about 5 million in the area. Now, 5 million is still an unacceptably high number, but it’s a big improvement because we’ve worked with both farmers and pastoralists to try to help them do more to sustain themselves – drought-resistant seeds, for example, better irrigation techniques and the like. So it’s not just that we’re responding to the emergency, first and foremost. We’re also trying to change the underlying conditions.

QUESTION: Last question: You mentioned the United States has contributed more than half a billion dollars —


QUESTION: — to this emergency in —


QUESTION: — the Horn of Africa. Some reasonable people would say this is a terrible, terrible tragedy, but we can’t afford that.


QUESTION: And I wonder what you would say to them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would say look at these pictures. And the one thing that Americans are so well known for, not only through our government but through our religious faith-based institutions, through private charities, through individual giving, is our heart. No matter what anybody says about us anywhere in the world, people have to admit that when there’s trouble anywhere, Americans are there. We’re there to help, and we’re there to do the very best we can to try to alleviate suffering. That’s part of the DNA of the American character. We certainly can afford to do what is necessary now.

Obviously, we’re all having to tighten our belts in this tough budgetary climate, but I have the great honor of heading the State Department and USAID, our two civilian agencies that – we don’t carry weapons; we carry food and we negotiate treaties, we try to help governments get better. It’s an insurance policy both against tragedy happening, but it’s also our way of responding when the inevitable – because given human nature, we’re going to face these kinds of terrible calamities – that we show who we are as a people. And I would hate to think that our country would ever back off from that.


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Remarks on the Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
International Food Policy Research Institute
Washington, DC
August 11, 2011

Thank you so much, Director General, for not only those remarks but for the work that is done every day here at this premier organization designed to come forward with sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. And I want to thank the International Food Policy Research Institute for hosting me today and for the leadership you show in a key area of global development – helping governments design and implement successful policies for reducing hunger and under-nutrition.This is an issue that is on your minds every day, but it is now on the minds of many people because of the crisis that is raging in the Horn of Africa. It is, first, a food crisis; a severe drought has put more than 12 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia in danger of starvation. It is also a refugee crisis, because at this point, hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes in search of food and safety. Some are walking more than 100 miles with their children in their arms to reach refugee camps, which are so over-crowded that thousands wait outside the fences, and more arrive every minute, many close to death.

What is happening in the Horn of Africa is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today, and the worst that East Africa has seen in several decades. The United States and our partners in the region, including the World Food Program, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, NGOs, and donor governments, are racing to save as many lives as possible.

Fortunately, we did, as the Director General just said, have a bit of a head start because of the Famine Early Warning System Network known as FEWSNet. The United States supports it along with others. It monitors drought and crop conditions and alerts governments and aid groups when crises are coming. This network, along with the analysis from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, enabled us to begin pre-positioning food in key locations throughout the region starting last year. But a great deal more must be done, and it must be done fast. Famine conditions in Somalia are likely to get worse before they level off.

And while we hurry to deliver life-saving assistance, we must also maintain our focus on the future by continuing to invest in long-term food security in countries that are susceptible to drought and food shortages. It is this connection between food emergencies and food security that I would like to speak to today. Because our goal is not only to help the region come through this crisis, but working with organizations like IFPRI to do all we can to prevent it from ever happening again. Food security is the key.

Let me just briefly summarize our emergency response to date.

The United States is the largest single-country contributor of food and humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa. On Monday, President Obama announced that in light of the current crisis, we are making available an additional $105 million in emergency funding. Today, I’m announcing another 17 million on top of that with 12 million designed specifically for helping the people of Somalia. That brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to the region to more than $580 million this year. We are reaching more than 4.6 million people with this aid. It helps to pay for food distribution; for therapeutic feeding for those who are severely malnourished; for clean water, healthcare, sanitation, protection, and other services for those in need. And let me say how grateful I am to the aid workers who are delivering this assistance, swiftly and effectively, in extremely difficult and often dangerous circumstances.

Over the course of this crisis, U.S. officials have made multiple trips to the region, including just this past weekend to Kenya, a delegation led by Dr. Jill Biden and joined by former Senator Dr. Bill Frist; USAID Administrator Raj Shah; Eric Schwartz, our Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Gayle Smith from the White House. They saw the best and worst of what is happening on the ground. They visited the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute, a top-notch facility long supported by the U.S. Government. And I had the chance to visit it on my trip to Kenya two years ago. I was very impressed by the work that I saw there by scientists who are cultivating crops that can thrive in drought and are enriched with essential nutrients. These breakthroughs have already saved lives and I’m sure will save many more in the future.

But the delegation also visited Dadaab, the refugee complex in eastern Kenya. Even before this emergency, it was the largest refugee camp in the world. Some people have been living there now for 20 years. It was originally built for 90,000 people. Twenty years later, more than 420,000 live there, including thousands of third-generation residents.

So the current refugee crisis is taking place against the backdrop of a prolonged refugee crisis. The United Nations is working as fast as it can to build new facilities, but well over a thousand people arrive every day. Most – in fact, the vast majority of those arriving – are Somalis, because Somalia is the epicenter of this emergency. Southern and central Somalia are the only places in the region where famine has been officially declared, because unlike Ethiopia and Kenya, Somalia has no effective national governance.

And the terrorist group al-Shabaab has prevented humanitarian assistance from coming in. It has killed and threatened aid workers. There are also credible reports that al-Shabaab is preventing desperate Somalis from leaving the areas under its control. Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of Somalis, largely women and children, are managing to flee to the north or leave the country altogether. They are pouring over the borders into Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. That, in turn, severely strains the capacity of those local communities and countries.

The United States is now providing $92 million in emergency humanitarian assistance inside Somalia. To facilitate aid within Somalia’s central and southern region, we have recently issued new guidance about the use of U.S. funds to help aid groups working with the United States Government try to save more lives. Still, a great deal depends on whether al-Shabaab is willing to let international assistance be delivered. And so I once again urge al-Shabaab to heed the calls not only of the international community, including the Arab League, but of the cries of their own people, and allow the secure delivery of relief to all those who are afflicted.

The United States will continue to work with Somalis in the international community to bring the hope of peace and stability to Somalia, and we join all Somalis in hoping that there will be a future with a functioning government that can protect the Somali people against famine and help to build a sustainable agricultural sector.

These are the steps we are taking to address the immediate crisis. But as we proceed, we must not forget we have seen crises like this before. First comes a severe drought, then crops fail, livestock perish, food prices soar, thousands of people die from starvation, most of them children, and thousands more pick up and move. Every few decades, the cycle repeats. And it would be easy to throw up our hands and blame it all on forces beyond our control, but this cycle is not inevitable. Though food shortages may be triggered by drought, they are not caused by drought, but rather by weak or nonexistent agricultural systems that fail to produce enough food or market opportunities in good times and break down completely in the bad times.

In other words, a hunger crisis is not solely an act of God. It is a complex problem of infrastructure, governance, markets, education. These are things we can shape and strengthen. So that means this is a problem that we can solve if we have the will and we put to work the expertise that organizations like IFPRI possess. We do have the know-how. We have the tools. We have the resources. And increasingly, we have the will to make chronic food shortages and under-nutrition a memory for the millions worldwide who are now vulnerable.

And while some might say that this is a conversation for another time, that we should worry about preventing food crises only after this one has passed, I respectfully disagree. Right now, when the effects of food security are the most extreme, we must re-dedicate ourselves to breaking this cycle of food shortages, suffering, and dislocation that we see playing out once again in the Horn of Africa. We must support countries working to achieve food security. We owe it to the people whose lives we are trying to save, and frankly, we owe it to the donors and the taxpayers who make our work possible. Investing now decreases the chances that Americans or others will be called upon in the future to face these same challenges in 10 or 20 years from now. And I will argue that we will be investing in our own security by supporting political stability and economic growth worldwide.

For the past two and a half years, I have traveled the world from Kenya to India to Italy, talking to everyone from farmers and agricultural scientists to aid workers and heads of state, about Feed the Future, the U.S. food security initiative and a centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. The United States has pledged $3.5 billion to support rigorously developed plans to fortify the entire agricultural chain of our partner countries, from the fields and grazing areas where crops are grown and livestock raised, to the markets where farmers sell their wares, to the tables and hearths where people receive the nutrition they need to stay healthy.

To name just a few of the things that we are doing through our Feed the Future Initiative: We are helping farmers gain access to fertilizers and improved seeds. We are setting up extension services to teach methods of conservation agriculture. We are supporting the creation of cooperatives so farmers can gain more purchasing power and a greater political voice. We are spreading the tools for reducing post-harvest losses so after months of hard work and good harvests, farmers don’t lose 40, 50, 60 percent of their crops and the nutrition and the income they offer because of inadequate or poor storage.

We’ve also helped create a global partnership called 1,000 Days to improve nutrition during the critical period from the start of pregnancy through a child’s second birthday. Nutritional deficits during those 1,000 days lead to permanent stunting, reduced cognitive function, and a greater susceptibility to disease that cannot be reversed by improved nutrition later in life.

Two of our partner countries in Feed the Future are Ethiopia and Kenya. And even amid this crisis, they prove that progress is possible. The last time a drought of this magnitude struck Ethiopia, in 2002 and 2003, more than 13 million people faced starvation. Today, fewer than 5 million do.

Now, that is still an unacceptably large number, but it is also an astonishing improvement in a relatively short period of time. And it is evidence that investments in food security can pay off powerfully. In 2005, the Ethiopian Government established the Productive Safety Net Program with support from international donors, including the United States. It helps small-holder farmers diversify their crops, create local markets, better manage their water resources, and increase the nutritional content of their own diets and those of their children. More than 7.6 million farmers and herders have now been helped by this program, people who are not among those in need of emergency aid today.

In Kenya as well, people who were greatly affected by the last severe drought are now safe, even thriving. Paul Weisenfeld from USAID, who is here today, shared a story with me about a woman farmer he met last month from the northernmost arid part of Kenya. It has been the hardest hit by the current drought. She lives on a communal farm made up of former livestock herders whose animals all died in the previous droughts. Today, thanks to help from international donors, she and the other farmers raise various vegetables and fruits, including mangoes, and her crop is so abundant that she is not only selling them locally, but exporting them to the Middle East.

In both Ethiopia and Kenya, the United States is helping to carry out comprehensive strategies that were designed by the countries themselves to suit their distinct needs and strengths. In Ethiopia, a top priority is strengthening the value chain to help small-holder farmers sell their products at local and regional markets. In Kenya, supporting herders is a leading concern, so USAID is working to connect them to markets, improve animal health services, help local institutions lobby for better livestock trade policies.

Both governments have developed country investment plans; both have committed to invest at least 10 percent of their national budget on agriculture. Kenya is nearly there and Ethiopia has exceeded that goal. And in both countries we are paying special attention to gender, to ensure that the women who do a significant amount of the planting, harvesting, selling and cooking are effectively supported. And we’re also paying attention to the environmental impact of our programs to protect the water and the land for future generations and to help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change.

Our goals are ambitious. In the next five years, the United States aims to help more than half a million people in Ethiopia permanently escape poverty and hunger, and more than 430,000 children benefit from improved nutrition. In Kenya, we aim to raise incomes and improve nutrition for 800,000 people. But there are still millions of people in these countries and certainly throughout the world who need emergency help, and they need it now. And yes, we are trying as hard as we can to reach them. But it is also important to recognize that there must be concerted efforts by governments and people to help themselves, and there is no question that Ethiopia and Kenya are moving in the right direction. Now we must help them continue that progress, and that is a job for all of us.

The primary responsibility naturally does lie with governments and with the people of countries like Ethiopia and Kenya. I have reached out to the leaders of these countries, and they know the kinds of changes that they still need to make. They need to move toward free trade in grain imports and exports. They need to improve credit and land-use policies to support farmers and herders. They need to ensure that public grain reserves are available when shortages loom. And they need to welcome new technologies to bolster drought tolerance, disease resistance, and crop yields. These can be challenging policies to get right, but they are absolutely essential for ensuring wise stewardship of the land and sustainable economic opportunities for the people. Meanwhile, the countries that pledged their support for food security at the G-8 Summit in L’Aquila in 2009 must make good on their commitments.

I certainly understand the difficult budget times we are living through. But we have to rededicate ourselves to doing development differently, as we said we would. New donor countries have gotten involved to end the current food emergency. I urge them also to join with us in helping to create lasting food security. A year ago, the United States led the G-20 countries in establishing an innovative, fund-based program at the World Bank called the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. By pooling our resources and our efforts behind country-developed and country-owned plans, we can reach more farmers and more villages and multiply our impact. This fund shares many of the characteristics of our own Feed the Future initiative, including a strong voice for civil society and rigorous systems for monitoring and evaluating results to make sure contributions are making a real difference in people’s lives. With support from seven donors – Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Spain, the United States, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – the fund has already awarded nearly half a billion dollars to 12 countries, including a $51.5 million grant to Ethiopia.

We are also looking to the private sector to contribute, especially in coming up with innovative ideas for reducing hunger and food insecurity. To offer two examples, we are working with a tech company on the ground in Africa called Souktel to text life-saving information to people across the region, so they know where relief can be found nearby. And we are supporting a partnership among General Mills, Cargill, and the Dutch company DSM, who are assisting food processors in Kenya and other countries improve their ability to produce high-quality, nutritious, safe food. This will benefit local consumers and prepare local food producers to compete in regional markets.

And I’ve said before in many settings, particularly at AGOA conferences, Africa must drop its trade barriers so that the African people can trade with each other. Sub-Saharan Africa has more trade barriers and they are more limited in inter-country regional trade than any part of the world.

Finally, we need the contributions of caring individuals here in the United States and around the world. We have seen this in previous crises, from the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 to the earthquake in Haiti; individual donations can have a tremendous impact. Even just a few dollars can save lives. And the heroic organizations operating in the Horn of Africa right now need all the support we can offer. The USAID homepage provides access to information about several groups, so it’s an easy way for people to help. Just visit USAID.gov. Another way to help is through mobile giving. One program that supports life-sustaining efforts in the Horn of Africa is the United Nations World Food Program. You can give ten dollars to the World Food Program USA by texting A-I-D to the number 27722.

Humanitarian assistance is in the American DNA. It is one of our core values, and the American people have shown time and again that we will give to help people in dire circumstances. We are inspired to see the outpouring that has already begun, and we hope it will continue and grow.

Additionally, the State Department is working with the American Refugee Committee and the design firm IDEO on the “Neighbors” campaign to engage the Somali diaspora, not only the United States but around the world, to help raise awareness and funds for the relief efforts. And we are working with the White House to mobilize churches, mosques, and synagogues to support this effort.

We must remember that time is not on our side. Every minute, more people, mostly women and mostly children, are dying. They’re becoming sick. They are fleeing their homes. We must respond. We need to rise to the level of this emergency by acting smarter and faster than we have before to achieve both short-term relief and long-term progress.

Think of what it would mean if we do succeed. Millions of people would be saved from this current calamity. Millions more would no longer live tenuous existences, always prepared to pick up and move to find food if drought or conflict or other crises occur. Parents would no longer have to endure the agony of losing their children when the food runs out. And food aid from countries like the United States would be needed much less frequently because we are now supporting agricultural self-sufficiency.

This would be a transformational shift for the people of our partner countries. It would be a new era of security, stability, health, and economic opportunity, peace, and stability. And it would signal a new chapter in the world’s relationships with the people of these countries. As they become themselves able to care for their families, they will become real models and examples of prosperity and stability and they will become partners to do even more to help people live up to their own God-given potential.

If we achieve that future, we will have done something truly remarkable. Just as the Green Revolution made such a difference, what we are trying to do now is to get back to what worked then, focus on the basics, focus on the work that is done by IFPRI. I had a change to meet the directors, and they’re working on how you enhance nutritional substance with micronutrients. They’re working on how you provide better seeds for crops, how you help herders whose natural desire is to hold on to their livestock because it represents to the rest of the world their significance.

All of this is in the tradition of the Green Revolution, which made such a difference. But then the world moved away, thinking that our work was done. And in fact, it was not. And we got very good at delivering emergency assistance when we put our minds to it, but we lost our way. And we have to do both, both the crisis and the future investments, so that we can see progress in very tangible ways. And history will record that as being a significant accomplishment for all, including those of you in this room, who played your part.

So we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I came today to make sure that in my own country and beyond, people know we have a crisis and we must respond. We must try to save those lives that are being lost in those brutal marches to try to get to safety. We must support the refugee camps and do everything we can to provide the immediate help that is needed. But let’s not just do that, as important as that is. Let’s use this opportunity to make very clear what more we need to do together to try to avoid this happening again. And I could think of no better place to come to make that plea and to issue that challenge than to the International Food Policy Research Institute. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Secretary Clinton To Deliver Remarks on the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa on August 11

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 9, 2011


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2011.

Secretary Clinton will discuss the ongoing international humanitarian response, as well as how the crisis in the Horn of Africa shows the urgency of investing in sustained food security through efforts such as Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

Secretary Clinton’s remarks will be  live-streamed here.

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Passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1990


Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 27, 2011



The United States commends the swift passage of UN Security Council resolution 1990, which approves the mandate requested by Sudanese leaders to facilitate the deployment of up to 4200 Ethiopian peacekeepers to the Abyei region of Sudan.

Abyei has been a source of regional tension for many years, as the world witnessed last month when Sudanese Armed Forces forcibly took control of the region, resulting in widespread displacement and looting.

The approval of this force is a critical step in implementing the June 20 agreement signed by the parties, whereby the Sudanese Armed Forces will withdraw from the Abyei area along with any Sudan People’s Liberation Army forces there. An Ethiopian brigade will deploy as the United Nations Interim Security Force to enforce this withdrawal and maintain security throughout the Abyei region.

We urge the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to make good on their commitments to withdraw forces from Abyei and use the talks facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to reach mutual agreement on the future status of Abyei.

While the United States welcomes this Security Council resolution regarding Abyei, we remain deeply concerned about the on-going crisis in Southern Kordofan. Tens of thousands of people have been driven from their homes, and there are reports of very serious human rights abuses and violence targeting individuals based on their ethnicity and political affiliation. Also of concern is the troubling detention of Sudanese local staff members of the UN Mission in Sudan by Sudanese authorities last week as they were being evacuated from the airport in Kadugli. While two staff members have been released, five remain in the custody of Sudanese military officials. We call on the Sudanese Government to release them immediately and cease any harassment and intimidation of UN personnel in Southern Kordofan. We urge the parties to reach an immediate ceasefire and to provide aid workers with the unfettered access required to deliver humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians affected by the conflict.

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Even though she had to leave early, Mme. Secretary had an impact on her short stay in Addis Ababa.  Met at the airport by Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Desalegne, she also had the opportunity to meet on the sidelines with a few Sudanese officials while attending a meeting of the African Union Commission where she delivered the address posted earlier.

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Secretary Clinton was greeted at Bole Airport, Addis Ababa by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Haile-Mariam Desalegne.

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Public Schedule for June 13, 2011


Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 13, 2011




Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is accompanied by Counselor Mills and Assistant Secretary Carson and is joined by Special Representative Balderston in Ethiopia. For more information, click here (ET+7 hours).


9:00 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.



10:45 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a joint press availability with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.



3:45 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with African Union Chairperson Jean Ping, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



5:00 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton delivers remarks to the African Union assembly, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



6:00 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



7:10 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a joint press availability with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Haile-Mariam Desalegne, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


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Public Schedule for June 8, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 8, 2011

Secretary Clinton is en route to foreign travel accompanied by Counselor Mills.

Details from the press office:

Secretary Clinton to Travel to U.A.E., Zambia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia


Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011



Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) for a meeting of the Libya Contact Group on June 9. This meeting will build on the last Contact Group meeting held in Rome and will allow the United States to discuss with its international partners the range of issues with respect to addressing the situation in Libya, including the ongoing implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Lusaka, Zambia, on June 10 for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial Forum, where she will showcase this centerpiece of our trade policy with Africa and engage with government, private sector, and civil society representatives from 37 different countries. While in Zambia, she will also meet with Zambian President Rupiah Banda as well as participate in events to highlight U.S. government initiatives to improve the lives of the Zambian people.

From there, Secretary Clinton will travel to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In Tanzania, she will highlight our successful bilateral engagement including a host of programs including Feed the Future (FTF). In Ethiopia, Secretary Clinton will focus on regional issues, visiting the African Union (AU) headquarters and meeting with AU Chairperson Jean Ping, in addition to bilateral meetings. She will also meet with civil society to draw attention to their innovative and enterprising work.

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Another award for our Mme. Secretary and travel to Africa are in the offing.

Secretary Clinton to Receive 2011 Marshall Foundation Award on June 2

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will receive the 2011 George C. Marshall Foundation Award at a dinner on June 2 at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

The Award program will include remarks by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright; former Chilean President and current Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet; General Raymond Odierno, Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command; and Michael Strianese, Chairman, President and CEO of L-3 Communications. Christiane Amanpour of ABC News will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Secretary Clinton to Launch Women’s World Cup Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports


Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011



On June 6, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will launch the Women’s World Cup Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports, at the Department of State with members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and youth soccer players from around the world.

This joint initiative by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues harnesses the power of sports and international exchanges as a means to empower women and girls worldwide.

The event will take place at approximately 9:30 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State. The event will be streamed live on www.state.gov .

The Women’s World Cup initiative includes:

– Sports Visitor Program
Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Office, 18 teenaged female soccer players and their coaches from Bolivia, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories and South Africa will travel to the United States May 31-June 9 through the Sports Visitors Program for a 10-day exchange. During this time, the young athletes will travel to New York City and Washington, D.C., where they will meet with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and play soccer with local teams. The delegation will also meet with local community organizations that provide sports opportunities for youth with disabilities and mentorships through a soccer and literacy initiative.

– Sports Envoy Programs
Partnering with U.S. Soccer, former Women’s National Team players Briana Scurry and Amanda Cromwell traveled in May as Sports Envoys to Germany to lead soccer clinics and engage young audiences in Berlin, Dresden, Wolfsburg, Sinsheim and Frankfurt. Additional Sports Envoys will travel to Brazil this summer.

– Women’s Sports Management
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitor Leadership Program will lead a parallel 10-day international exchange program for five sports management professionals. With an emphasis on the administration of women’s and girls’ soccer programs, the program will allow the visitors to exchange ideas and best practices in the management of sports and recreational programs with their American counterparts. They will examine how athletic programs for women and girls promote leadership, teamwork, respect, self awareness and life skills, and how sports and recreation programs can make a positive impact on at-risk and underserved youth.

Visit www.exchanges.state.gov/sports for more information.

Secretary Clinton to Travel to UAE, Zambia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a meeting of the Libya Contact Group on June 9. This meeting will build on the last Contact Group meeting held in Rome and will allow the United States to discuss with its international partners the range of issues with respect to addressing the situation in Libya, including the ongoing implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Lusaka, Zambia, on June 10 for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial Forum, where she will showcase this centerpiece of our trade policy with Africa and engage with government, private sector, and civil society representatives from 37 different countries. While in Zambia, she will also meet with Zambian President Rupiah Banda as well as participate in events to highlight U.S. government initiatives to improve the lives of the Zambian people.

From there, Secretary Clinton will travel to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In Tanzania, she will highlight our successful bilateral engagement including a host of programs including Feed the Future (FTF). In Ethiopia, Secretary Clinton will focus on regional issues, visiting the African Union (AU) headquarters and meeting with AU Chairperson Jean Ping, in addition to bilateral meetings. She will also meet with civil society to draw attention to their innovative and enterprising work.

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