WASHINGTON (AP)--President Clinton asked Congress April 21 to provide $200 million in emergency funding for countries in southern Africa. Most of the funding would go to Mozambique, where flooding has left at least 700 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
Clinton's request includes $131 million for Mozambique to repair and reconstruct roads and rail lines and rehabilitate farm areas and health and education services. The request also would restore the Defense Department's authority to use $37.5 million in existing accounts to finance humanitarian relief operations.
"While Mozambique continues to make great efforts to sustain its fledging democracy and its program of market reforms, it is still one of the world's poorest countries," Clinton said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear how Clinton's request would be received in Congress.
Earlier in the month, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MS, decided to indefinitely postpone votes scheduled by the Senate Appropriations Committee on an overall emergency spending package that includes money for combating drugs in Columbia and peacekeeping in Kosovo. Lott, whose office was closed for the Easter holiday recess, supports the spending but doesn't see a need to consider the legislation on an emergency basis as the House did.
Clinton's request also includes:
--$17 million for Madagascar to fix and improve road and rail lines and telecommunication systems, solve water quality problems and support economic recovery.
--$16 million for flood-control and disaster preparedness for the region and improve southern Africa's ability to respond to future disasters.
--$15 million for South Africa for schools, health centers and problems in rural areas.
--$10 million to fund water and sanitation projects, buy seeds and tools and make small repairs to infrastructure in Mozambique, Madagascar and Botswana.
--$4 million for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana to repair houses and infrastructure, treat water and prepare for disasters.