The World Bank and other international lenders pledged $8 billion in aid on Monday for infrastructure development in eight countries in the Horn of Africa in hopes that an infusion of funds will help moderate the persistent food and water shortages and armed conflict in the region.
The advent of oil production in Kenya and Uganda will be a catalyst for “dramatic and lasting” change in the region, the World Bank said. Also, the search for exploitable oil reserves is under way in Ethiopia and parts of Somalia.
The construction and improvement of oil pipelines, transport links and health and education facilities are among the projects to be funded by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the European Union, as well as the World Bank, the lenders said.
The announcement of the aid package to Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda coincided with the start of a five-day, three-nation visit to the region by a delegation of international aid officials led by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
[Wall Street Journal]