Sending Office: Committee on Foreign Affairs – Minority Staff
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Request for Cosponsor(s)

Dear Colleague,

Please join us as a co-sponsor of
H.Res. 239
, which underscores the need for a strong response by the United States, in concert with the United Nations and the donor community, to the drought, food insecurity, and risk of famine in the Horn of Africa.

Approximately 14 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are facing food insecurity. If the April-June rains fail, there is concern that many of these populations could tip into famine, much like the one that occurred in
Somalia between 2010 and 2012, which resulted in the deaths of over a quarter of a million people. As Ranking Member Engel stated in a

press release
earlier this month, “Combating food insecurity is not only a moral obligation, but is also a foreign policy priority in a part of the world where the United States seeks to enhance regional stability and security.”

In recent years, the U.S. military has increasingly been involved in Somalia to counter al-Shabaab. At the same time, there is a significant risk of population displacement from Somalia as a result of the drought, which has the
potential to destabilize key regional counterterrorism allies. In this context, it’s important to demonstrate Congressional support for the humanitarian response in the context of proposed cuts to the State Department, USAID, and other organizations that would
spearhead the humanitarian response.

In summary, H.Res. 239:

  1. commends the timely response of the State Department and USAID to early warning signals of drought in the Horn of Africa, and calls on the U.S. government and the international community to continue life-saving assistance and
    development activities in order to alleviate drought and food insecurity in the region;
  2. commends the work of UN agencies nongovernmental organizations NGOs in providing sustained life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations across the Horn of Africa;
  3. commends the Somali diaspora for spearheading the response to humanitarian needs in Somalia, and encourages financial institutions to explore means to facilitate the flow of charitable donations and remittances to populations
    in need; and
  4. calls on the President to appoint high-level officials able to engage the international community in joining the United States to respond to this crisis, including an Administrator for USAID, a Director for the Office of Foreign
    Disaster Assistance, an Assistant USAID Administrator for Africa, and an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Please contact Lesley Warner ( ) with the House Foreign Affairs Committee Democratic staff  to become a cosponsor of this legislation.


Eliot L. Engel

Ranking Member

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Chris Smith


Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Karen Bass

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Keith Ellison

Member of Congress

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