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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

Congresswoman McCollum Supports Increased U.S. Commitments to Relieve Famine in the Horn of Africa

August 31, 2011
Press Release

Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

St. Paul, MN – Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) issued the following statement as the head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi announced a new U.S. commitment to famine relief at a University of Minnesota forum.

"The famine sweeping across the Horn of Africa is causing unimaginable agony for millions of families in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. This mounting humanitarian crisis demands that we match heartfelt words of sympathy with bold and immediate action."

According to USAID, over 600,000 Somalis have fled to neighboring countries, some walking hundreds of miles to refugee camps in search of food and water. Nearly half of the children arriving at the camps are acutely malnourished. Across the eastern Horn of Africa, more than 12 million people are now in need of emergency assistance to survive.

Representative McCollum has been a leader in Congress on the issue of global food security. She introduced the bi-partisan Global Food Security Act and has strongly supported the Obama Administration's agriculture development initiative – Feed The Future – as a Member of the House Appropriations Committee. The Congresswoman was unable to attend Wednesday's forum because of a prior commitment to accompany the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the State Fair for conversations with Minnesota veterans and leaders of the veteran's community.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.