Millions face severe famine in the Horn of Africa – UN Food Agency
This content was published on February 8, 2022 – 12:13
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations World Food Program said on Tuesday that 13 million people in the Horn of Africa faced severe starvation, calling for immediate aid to avert a repeat of a famine in the future. ten years ago that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Three failed rainy seasons have created the driest conditions since the 1980s, with forecasts of below-average rainfall expected to increase suffering in the months ahead.
“Crops are ruined, livestock are dying and hunger is on the rise as recurrent droughts affect the Horn of Africa,” said Michael Dunford, regional director of WFP’s regional bureau for East Africa.
The conditions have decimated livestock, forcing thousands of people in an area where many are farmers to take refuge in camps for the displaced.
“We have never experienced this before, we only see dust storms now. We are afraid that they will cover us all and become our graveyard,” Mohamed Adem from the Somali Region of Ethiopia said in a video from the PAM.
Aerial footage taken nearby showed vast dusty brush strewn with cattle carcasses. In the village of Kebele, people tied ropes under the torso of a thin cow to lift it up.
“Although it is not out of control, there is severe drought in parts of Somalia and parts of Oromia and southern regional states,” Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse told Reuters. Tulu. “So the WFP warning is absolutely right.”
Drought is also spreading in parts of Kenya, south-central Somalia and Eritrea. Between 2010 and 2012, around 250,000 people died of starvation in Somalia, half of them children.
Mohamed Fall, of the UN children’s agency, warned at the same briefing that many children would die or suffer lifelong cognitive or physical damage without prompt action to avert starvation.
“We must act now to avert catastrophe,” he said by telephone from Nairobi, adding that 5.5 million children in the four countries are currently at risk of acute malnutrition.
The WFP, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, is launching its regional response plan for the Horn of Africa this week and is asking for $327 million. UNICEF is seeking $123 million.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Maggie Fick; Editing by Janet Lawrence, Alexandra Hudson)