Starting a tour of the Horn of Africa, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday in Ethiopia announced $8 billion in funding for Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
“The countries of the Horn of Africa are making important yet unheralded progress in economic growth and political stability. Now is a crucial moment to support those efforts, end the cycles of conflict and poverty, and move from fragility to sustainability. The UN is joining with other global and regional leaders to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach towards peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa,” Ban Ki-Moon said.
Among those accompanying UN Secretary General in his tour is World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, as well as the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and high level representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD).
On the first day of the joint trip on Monday, the World Bank pledged $1.8 billion for cross-border activities in a Horn of Africa Initiative intended to boost economic growth and opportunity, reduce poverty, and spur business activity.
The African Development Bank announced a pledge of $1.8 billion over the next three years for countries of the Horn of Africa region, while the Islamic Development Bank committed to deploy up to $1 billion in new financing in its four member countries in the Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
“Our efforts to create peace and stability must be reinforced by investments in the peoples and countries of the Horn,” African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, Erastus Mwencha said.
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in Northeast Africa, home to roughly 100 million people. It is one of the most food-insecure regions in the world, according to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Five out of the region’s eight countries – South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Ethipoia and Eritrea – are currently in the state of internal or external conflict.