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December 21 2012 Leap Of Faith

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Learning from Successes Building Resilience in the Horn of Africa

Thank you Dina, and I know Nancy is here,so thank you Nancy for having me. You know, this is a really important session, and whenI knew how many people would be here, I didn't realize the room would be so small. So it'sgood to see everybody packed in close together. This is how we save money at USAID. So that'swonderful. I want to thank some of our colleagues fromIFPRI Paul Dorosh, and Mark Fritzler from TOPS, who have helped put this together andcosponsored this. And of course I missed the opening discussion, but I heard a lotabout the central themes from that conversation and IFPRI's synthesis and presentation ofbest practices in this space, so I'm eager

for that to really infuse our thinking aswe have this conversation today and as we do the work in the space over the course ofthe next several months and years. I also want to thank Ambassador Elkanah Odembofrom the Embassy of Kenya, is he hereé He's on his way, ok, good, good. A coupleof references I'll make of course are to Kenya, and I know this room is packed with expertsin the Horn of Africa in particular, and on agriculture, food, humanitarian response,resilience, so I will tread lightly on some of these things, knowing full well that ourUSAID team and our colleagues from other agencies and other parts of the space are here withmuch more expertise and can build on this.

It is really, we're at a very unique timeand I don't know…right… we're at a very unique time once again in the Horn of Africa– and the central theme I'd like to. the central point I'd like to make today is thatour opportunity to demonstrate that we have learned a lot about building resilience intovulnerable communities and building sustainable food systems across larger economic units,whole countries and whole regions, our ability to demonstrate that we've learned in thatspace is the way we react in the next several months and years to the crisis in the Hornof Africa. And this is of course a photo of the Dadaabrefugee camp. When I had a chance to visit

Dadaab a number of times this year I was juststruck by the constant growing size of the camp, now nearly half a million people ina settlement designed for 80,000 people I believe originally. And at the time growingon a daily basis. Welcome…come on in. And so as you see in this photograph theseare women and children mostly who have completed 5060100 km treks from south central Somaliainto Dadaab, and as we know this is the result of the combination of weak and abusive governmentsin Somalia, of the worst drought in more than six decades, of generally low performing relativeto their potential agricultural systems

in the region. And as a result, for the firsttime in quite some time more than 13 million people have suffered from acute hunger andthe risk of hunger because of these conditions. Now, it's of course, you've all seen the illustrationsof the fact that the famine itself, defined by the case fatality rate amongst children,is acute in parts of Somalia and south central Somalia. But it's important to note that therehave been significant challenges in otherwise robust settings in Kenya and in Ethiopia,with catastrophic loss of animals, widespread displacement, and acute malnutrition ratesin some parts of northern Kenya up to 37%. Thanks to the leadership of President Obama,Secretary Clinton, and so many members of

Congress on both sides of the aisle we wereable to mount a significant humanitarian response. I think the United States has accounted formore than 50 percent of the global humanitarian response to the Horn from the beginning ofwhen we started getting early FEWS NET data, demonstrating the risks and the challengesfrom what was coming. And we're proud of that strong response. This is a photograph we took in Dadaab – it'sa food distribution – and as you know, in addition to providing traditional commodities,cornsoy blend, we've also really restructured the food mix we provide, so that there arenine new – I'm constantly told not to call

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