African countries and donors pledged more than $350 million Thursday at a fund-raiser in the Ethiopian capital to help millions facing starvation in the Horn of Africa s worst drought in decades.
The African Development Bank offered $300 million to fund long-term projects, while African states and other private donors pledged $51 million, the African Union Commission chiefannounced.
Ping initially said some $356 million had been promised, but later told reporters that the final figure was $351.7 million.
"This is the first time Africa is showing solidarity for an African cause," the bloc s chairman and Equatorial Guinea s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said.
Two years of failed rains has left 12.4 million people across the Horn of Africa in danger of starvation with war-torn Somalia the worst affected country in the region.
Last month, the United Nations, for the first time this century, declared a state of famine in five Somali regions and said it could spread to engulf the country s entire south.
The drought has also left millions in parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda facing starvation.
The fund-raising conference was the first of its kind by the pan-African body, which has so far pledged only $500,000 of the needed $2.4 billion (1.6 billion euros).
However, only four heads state, -- Obiang, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Djiboutian President Ismael Omar Guelleh and Somali leader Sharif Sheikh Ahmed -- attended the Addis Ababa meeting.
Asked whether he was disappointed by the low turnout by African leaders, Ping said: "The first thing that is important is the figure ... So look at the amount and you will agree with me."
"We are very happy as a starting point," he added, noting that they had expected around $10 million in pledges.
A pan-African fundraising campaign, Africans Act 4 Africa, had criticised African governments and the AU for not responding quickly enough to a crisis that worsened two months ago.