Millions face hunger in the Horn of Africa

 

drought in Africa

drought in Africa

Over 10 million people in the Horn of Africa are facing severe food shortages, according to the United Nations.  

Five countries in the region including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya Somalia and Uganda are experiencing the worst drought in 60 years. 

The United Nations says child malnutrition in the affected regions has more than doubled while the double tragedy of war and drought is driving thousands of Somalis into overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. 

Elizabeth Byrs from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the ability of families to cope with the drought has been made worse by the escalating cost of food prices in local markets.  

"The Horn of Africa is experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today with no improvement until 2012. If we do not get adequate funds we will have to stop or reduce some humanitarian programmes. As a result of the drought an increasing number of Somalis are leaving their country. Every month some 10,000 Somalis are arriving in Kenya and 5,000 in Ethiopia. Many families have walked for days, they are exhausted, they are in poor health and in desperate need  for food and water. The situation of children is particularly of concern. They are the most vulnerable.  Almost half of the children arriving in refugee camps in Ethiopia from southern Somalia are malnourished and an increasing number of children are reported to be dying."  

The United Nations says funding for humanitarian operations in the Horn of Africa is inadequate and increased support was urgently required to prevent a further deterioration of the situation. 

Duration 58″

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