H.R. 239: Supporting the Ongoing Efforts for Eastern Africa


SEATTLE — Eastern Africa has seen immense droughts recently and as a result, the region suffered from dry conditions that ultimately affected farming. Crop production slowed down and coupled with militant violence, the situation is in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. H.R. 239 calls for continued support of Eastern Africa and adds additional U.S. aid positions to better manage the distribution of the required resources necessary to combat this drought along with future disasters.

H.R. 239 continues to call for resources to eastern regions in order to help the recent refugee situation. In Somalia, over six million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The country holds the fourth largest refugee population behind South Sudan and Syria. Unfortunately, the government of Kenya has not been transparent when it comes to receiving those in need of assistance.

Prima Facia status was recently revoked for Somali refugees, leaving many unregistered and without proper care. Many people are forced into camps within their own country, which often leaves them in an area more prone to sexual violence and reoccurring forced evictions.

Humanitarian aid is difficult to distribute in many regions within Eastern Africa due to violence. Groups like Al Shabab consistently terrorize Somalia, making it more challenging to give the necessary assistance to those affected by the drought.

Lack of rainfall made conditions even harder; many militant groups are looting resources in specific regions within countries in Africa. This made it much more challenging for some nations to recover and grow economically. For this reason, H.R. 239 commemorates U.S. aid programs as well as governments from around the globe for contributing to current and past disaster relief to the Horn of Africa.

The President would appoint all the new officials added within this legislation. All new appointees are designated specific positions to better coordinate efforts to respond to the drought in Africa.

In Eastern Africa, drought conditions have caused a refugee crisis that has left millions displaced. H.R. 239 is a resolution that reinforces the response taken to combat dry conditions as well as serve people in need. In order to enable the distribution of resources to affected communities, governments need to establish effective coordination with humanitarian workers and be openly transparent.

Nick Katsos

Photo: Flickr


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