Austria has pledged one million euros to help four of the world's poorest countries combat the global food crisis, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said Friday.
"It's not just about calling on the UN. Each state must also take rapid measures", Plassnik said following a Vienna meeting with United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon.
Austria's million is shared out as follows:
-- 250,000 euros (390,000 dollars) goes to the UN World Food Programme to help children, young mothers and the sick in Haiti;
-- 100,000 euros goes to the international Red Cross to provide food, water and medical supplies to Namibia;
-- 100,000 euros will provide emergency care to Ethiopian drought victims under the UN children's fund, UNICEF;
-- Austria also intends to fund bilateral food and humanitarian projects to the sum of 550,000 euros across Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.
"Our objective is to bring the local population to a point where it can produce essential foods for itself," Plassnik added.
Soaring prices of essential foodstuffs such as rice, wheat and corn in some of the world's poorest nations, have seen riots and even deaths in Haiti -- where the government fell -- and across Africa.