$1.4 billion needed to stop the spread of the Somali famine

More than twelve million people - in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti - are in dire need of help, and the situation is getting worse.

$ 1.4 billion is needed immediately to stop the famine in Somalia from spreading, the United Nations humanitarian chief said.

Valerie Amos told a press conference in New York the money will enable relief organizations working in the Horn of Africa region to scale up their response to the crisis.

OCHA has already declared famine in two areas of southern Somalia.

The Horn of Africa drought has left an estimated 12.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

Valerie Amos says the agency has already raised more than $1billion but it's not enough.

"Stories that we see and that we hear are dreadful. It is hard to imagine the horror of mothers forced to leave their infants behind to die as they trek for weeks to reach safety. The sense of loss felt by orphans as they reach overcrowded refugee camps, sick and malnourished, alone and with no future. These stories, these images are a wake up call. They remind us why we cannot spare any effort to ease the suffering while we must do all we can to stop it from happening again."

Amos says that the UN will support a plan by the African Union to hold a funding conference for the Horn of African hunger crisis later in August.

Duration: 33″

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