Obama: Famine In East Africa Needs Global Response

By Eliza

Jul 29, 2011 6:12pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) Reports:

President Obama said today that the famine developing in eastern Africa has not received enough attention and that the humanitarian crisis is going to require a global response.

“I think it hasn’t gotten as much attention here in the United States as it deserves,” Obama told reporters following a White House meeting with leaders of emerging African democracies. “We're starting to see famine developing along the Horn of Africa, in areas like Somalia in particular.  And that's going to require an international response.  And Africa will have to be a partner in making sure that tens of thousands of people do not starve to death.”

The president met with President Boni Yayi of Benin, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, and President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, to discuss economic development and the building of strong democratic institutions.

“Although obviously we've got a lot of things going here in Washington today,” the president said in reference to the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, “it was important for us, I think, to maintain this scheduled appointment with four leaders of nations that represent Africa's democratic progress, which is vital to a stable and prosperous and just Africa, but is also critical to the stability and prosperity of the world.”

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