International donors pledged $8 billion in development aid Monday for projects across eight countries in the Horn of Africa, UN chief Ban Ki-moon announced at the start of a visit to the region.
The aid, from organisations including the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union and Islamic Development Bank (IDB), will support efforts to boost economies and stem conflict and hunger across the volatile region.
Countries targeted are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
"The countries of the Horn of Africa are making important yet unheralded progress in economic growth and political stability," Ban said in a statement.
"Now is a crucial moment to support those efforts, end the cycles of conflict and poverty, and move from fragility to sustainability."
Ban, who begins his Horn of Africa trip in Ethiopia Monday, is due to travel onwards to neighbouring Djibouti and Kenya, leading a delegation from six other international organisations.
Alongside Ban is World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, and officials from the African Union, EU, the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) bloc of nations, as well as the AfDB and IDB.
Projects include support for oil pipelines and improving transport links, as well as boosting education and internet access.
Aid will also aim to increase cross-border trade, and boost economic growth in a region struggling with rampant unemployment as well as millions of people forced from their homes by war or hunger.