Thursday 22 February 2018

African schoolboy aims to raise €9m for famine victims

Francis Kokutse in Ghana

As international aid agencies scramble for donations for east Africa's famine victims, one multi-million-dollar fundraising drive has come from an unexpected source -- a west African schoolboy.

Andrew Adansi-Bonnah is 11. And during his eight-week school holiday, he wants to raise 20 million Ghanaian cedis -- or about €9m -- for his cause by walking office to office collecting donations in Ghana's capital, Accra.

Since starting the drive on August 1, he has collected about €4,500 in pledges for the fund he started after consulting with UNICEF and the UN's World Food Program. His father, schoolteacher Samuel Adansi-Bonnah, donated his entire July salary of about €350.

Andrew said he was inspired by images of skeletal babies and children he saw on television, which led him to name his campaign Save Somali Children from Hunger. "There are hungry people in Ghana but our situation is not as desperate as the people of Somalia," he said.

The UN estimates that more than 12 million people across east Africa need food aid because of a long-running drought that has sent more than 100,000 people fleeing to refugee camps.

Somalia has been hardest hit, and US officials estimate the famine has killed 29,000 children in the past three months.

The UN has yet to raise half of the €1.7bn it has requested from donor countries. The UN says the famine will spread to all regions of southern Somalia in the next four to six weeks unless more aid can be delivered.

The African Union has also urged African nations and private citizens to donate, and will hold a pledging conference later in August.

Irish Independent

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