Leaders of global and regional institutions including the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union, Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD), Islamic Development Bank Group, and African Union Commission have pledged more than $8 billion on Monday to boost economic growth and development in addition to reducing poverty in the eight countries that make up the Horn of Africa, according to a statement released by the World Bank.
The countries that make up the Horn of Africa include Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Uganda, Sudan, and South Sudan — some of the fastest growing economies in the world. These eight nations have immense and untapped natural resources, however this region has been plagued with extreme poverty and conflict.
“The countries of the Horn of Africa are making important yet unheralded progress in economic growth and political stability. Now is a crucial moment to support those efforts, end the cycles of conflict and poverty, and move from fragility to sustainability,” said United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, according to the World Bank statement.
“This new financing represents a major new opportunity for the people of the Horn of Africa to make sure they get access to clean water, nutritious food, health care, education, and jobs,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, according to the World Bank statement.
“There is greater opportunity now for the Horn of Africa to break free from its cycles of drought, food insecurity, water insecurity, and conflict by building up regional security, generating a peace dividend, especially among young women and men, and spurring more cross-border cooperation,” the World Bank Chief added.
The funds pledged to the countries of the region will help boost infrastructure development, regional oil and gas pipelines development, and programs to improve health, education, and training to its citizens.
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