AFRICA-Humanitarian tragedy in the Horn of Africa, while funds are lacking

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Rome (Fides Service) - "The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years" says the spokesperson of the Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, Elizabeth Byrs. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya are suffering a major humanitarian emergency due to this phenomenon that is leading to increasing prices of food up to 60-80 percent compared to 2010. Ten million people risk starvation, millions of refugees and displaced people wander without a forecast of a credible plan to save their lives. According to the latest figures released by the UN, drought affects 3.2 million people in Kenya, 2.6 in Somalia, 3.2 in Ethiopia and 117 000 in Djibouti. In some areas of the region, the rate of child malnutrition is twice higher than the emergency threshold set at 15%. In Somalia, one in three children is undernourished. The government of Kenya has declared a national disaster and appealed to the international community. The Daadab refugee camp, the largest in the world, in northern Kenya, has reached the limit of capacity. Despite the catastrophic humanitarian situation, the UN struggles to raise the funds needed to face the crisis. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 07/09/2011)