UN / HORN OF AFRICA DROUGHT

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09-Mar-2022 00:02:00
With the Horn of Africa experiencing one of its worst droughts in recent history and 12 to 14 million people severely food insecure in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs held on Wednesday a briefing to scale up support for the region. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / HORN OF AFRICA DROUGHT
TRT: 2:00
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 09 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
"The increasing frequency of shocks has meant that affected people have limited time to recover before the next crisis, not having enough time to build back the household assets, compounding their vulnerability and contributing of course to increase displacement. It's a vicious circle. At the same time, many drought affected communities are struggling to cope with the cumulative consequences of other shocks, including conflict, of course, flooding, COVID-19, and the desert locust upsurge in the region."
3. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
"The delivery of life saving and life sustaining assistance has scaled up significantly in recent months, with assistance provided to 1.4 million people in Ethiopia, sorry, in Somalia, over 2.7 million in Ethiopia and 830,000 in Kenya. But much more is urgently required to prevent large scale loss of life, what is called excess deaths, in the period ahead. It is imperative that we act now as we have a brief window in which to scale up our response."
5. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
"With the world's attention focused on other contexts, we know that so clearly in this city and other crises, we must not lose sight of the devastating human impact of the drought in the Horn of Africa. Millions of people depend on us and their governments to provide what they need to avoid further disastrous consequences."
7. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

STORYLINE:

With the Horn of Africa experiencing one of its worst droughts in recent history, with 12 to 14 million people severely food insecure in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs held on Wednesday a briefing to scale up support for the region.

Opening the event, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said the "the increasing frequency of shocks has meant that affected people have limited time to recover before the next crisis, not having enough time to build back the household assets, compounding their vulnerability and contributing of course to increase displacement."

"It's a vicious circle. At the same time, many drought affected communities are struggling to cope with the cumulative consequences of other shocks, including conflict, of course, flooding, COVID-19, and the desert locust upsurge in the region," he explained.

Griffiths informed that, in recent months, the delivery of life saving and life sustaining assistance has scaled up significantly, with assistance provided to 1.4 million people in Somalia, over 2.7 million in Ethiopia and 830,000 in Kenya.

"But much more is urgently required to prevent large scale loss of life, what is called excess deaths, in the period ahead. It is imperative that we act now as we have a brief window in which to scale up our response," the top humanitarian official said.

According to OCHA, families are taking desperate measures to survive, with thousands leaving their homes in search of food, water and pasture.

In Kenya, 3.5 million people are struggling to put food on their table every day. Water sources for both people & livestock have dried up due to the acute drought, increasing tensions and inter-communal conflict over scarce resources.

The drought is also affecting 90% of Somalia's territory, generating a fast-deteriorating crisis. So far, 4.5 million people need urgent assistance, up from 3.2 million in December 2021. Around 670,000 people have been displaced in search of food, water, pasture, up from 245,000 in December.

In Ethiopia, some 175,000 people have now been forced from their homes in the southern part of the country. Hundreds of thousands of livestock have died and food production has been hampered, leaving 6.8 million people in dire need of assistance.

For the UN agency, action is required now to help people and communities impacted by the drought to survive the period ahead, while supporting them to return to self-reliance and build resilience against future shocks.

"With the world's attention focused on other contexts, we know that so clearly in this city and other crises, we must not lose sight of the devastating human impact of the drought in the Horn of Africa. Millions of people depend on us and their governments to provide what they need to avoid further disastrous consequences," Griffiths said.
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