The British group Oxfam said on Monday that African governments must make more substantial donations to the international relief effort aiding the more than 12 million people affected by the drought and famine in Africa
Oxfam told The Associated Press it has launched an initiative to get Africans and their governments to donate more.
Irungu Houghton, an Oxfam official, said that donations from African governments have been inadequate and that only South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Sudan have made contributions.
He told AP that citizens in South Africa and Kenya are contributing money and food to the aid efforts in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, but that overall the response from Africa has been too small.
Namibia has donated $500,000 and South Africa has donated $1 million, noted Houghton. He added, however, that the pledge by the South African government is not enough taking into account the country’s economic status.
“African citizens have already rallied to the cause and made significant contributions. But now we need African governments to follow their lead,” Houghton said. “Most are yet to make a decent contribution and show the true meaning of African solutions to African problems.”
More than 12 million people are affected by the famine, which has killed tens of thousands of people in Somalia.
Oxfam has launched an initiative called “The Africans Act for Africa” to get African countries to donate. It will include appeals by famous African musicians urging the people of the continent and governments to donate.
AP noted that the United States has been the biggest international donor to famine relief efforts, with about $580 million in aid this year. Britain is the second-biggest donor at $205 million, followed by Japan and Australia. Saudi Arabia is next at $60 million, and is the biggest donor from the Muslim world.