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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim visited Addis Ababa to pledge political support and major new financial assistance for countries in the Horn of Africa, totaling more than USD 8 billion over the coming years.

On the first day of the joint trip, the World Bank Group announced a major new financial pledge of USD 1.8 billion for cross-border activities in a Horn of Africa Initiative that will boost economic growth and opportunity, reduce poverty, and spur business activity.

The initiative covers the eight countries in the Horn of Africa; Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

“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. 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,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on his part stated that nations in 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. The United Nations is joining with other global and regional leaders to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach towards peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa,” he said.

The European Union also announced that it would support the countries in the region with a total of around USD 3.7 billion until 2020, of which about 10 percent would be for cross-border activities; the African Development Bank announced a pledge of USD 1.8 billion over the next three years for countries of the Horn of Africa region; while the Islamic Development Bank committed to deploy up to USD 1 billion in new financing in its four member countries in the Horn of Africa namely Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

During their visit United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn also inaugurated the new office in the ECA compound hailing as a milestone for the organization and for its already close relationship with Ethiopia and with people across Africa.

 

Held on Tuesday October 28, the inauguration of the new building is in line with the United Nations common house initiative, which aims to bring all UN staff working in Addis Ababa into the compoundn