About $1.4 billion in aid has been pledged in a donor conference organised in Geneva as drought threatens millions with starvation in Horn of Africa.
The UN announced Tuesday that the money raised will go towards humanitarian interventions and development projects to stem severe food insecurity in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
The region has been hit by the “worst drought in 40 years,” a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
In his speech, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths laid out the dire situation and said only a fraction of the budget was in hand.
“Once again, vulnerable people across the Horn of Africa are falling victim to the cruelty of acute hunger and potential famine in a crisis that is not of their own making. We must all step up and show the people of this region that we are here to help alleviate their suffering,” Griffiths said, adding that if there were to be a fourth failed rainy season, it could bring with it “one of the worst climate-induced emergencies in its history.”
“The situation is particularly stark in six areas of Somalia, where famine is likely if rains fail this season, if food prices continue to rise and if humanitarian assistance is not scaled up to reach the most vulnerable populations,” the statement added.
The Horn of Africa is experiencing its fourth consecutive poor rainy season, the UN statement said, noting that “one million people have left their homes due to a lack of water or pasture, and at least three million livestock have died.”
More than six million people in Somalia are “acutely food insecure,” as well as 3.5 million in Kenya and 6.5 million in Ethiopia.
Situation in the horn of Africa has been exacerbated by the Russian-Ukraine crisis, as food aid initially set for the horn of Africa are being diverted to Ukraine, added to the rising food prices across the world.
Already 1 million people have left their homes due to a lack of water or pasture, and at least 3 million livestock have starved to death. Drought across the Horn of Africa comes on top of conflict in Somalia and Ethiopia; shortfall in annual rainfalls; two years of pandemic-related socioeconomic stress; and a prolonged desert locust crisis.
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