UN says 2 million children are at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa | World

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Tuesday that about 2 million children run the risk of starve in the Horn of Africa region, which is facing one of the most severe droughts in decades.

At a closed-door donor conference in Geneva, he said the organization had only a fraction of the $1.4 billion needed to respond to drought in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

See below for a 2021 story about an interruption of food delivery by the UN at Ethiopia.

UN World Food Program suspends food distribution in two Ethiopian cities over looting

UN World Food Program suspends food distribution in two Ethiopian cities over looting

“The hard truth we must recognize today is that we are in a race against time again to prevent large-scale loss of life in 2022, and we don’t have the resources to do so,” he said in remarks delivered virtually.

The dry months in the Horn of Africa have devastated crops and livestock and forced many people to flee their homes.

According to the UN Food Program (WFP), the number of people going hungry due to drought could increase from 14 million (the current number) to 20 million.

  • In Somalia, 6 million people, or almost 40% of the population, face extreme levels of food insecurity and, if the situation does not improve, “a very real risk of hunger in the coming months”, highlights WFP;
  • In Kenya, 500,000 people are heading for a food crisis, especially in northern communities that live off livestock;
  • In Ethiopia, malnutrition rates in the south and southeast have exceeded emergency levels.

Conflict, poverty and locust plague

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlighted that some drought-affected areas in the Horn of Africa are suffering the cumulative effects of conflict, poverty and the locust plague.

“We must act now if we are to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” Chimimba David Phiri, FAO representative to the African Union, told an informational meeting in Geneva.

The situation is also exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, which has contributed to rising food and fuel prices and affected supply chains, according to WFP.

The agency says a lack of funds in this region of the world could lead to catastrophe and is asking for funding of $473 million over the next six months.

In February, an old fundraiser raised less than 4% of needed funds, he said.

FAO lacks more than 60% of the funds needed to help the 1.5 million people that this agency wants to support in the three countries.

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