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Critical Famine Warning for Horn of Africa

Critical Famine Warning for Horn of Africa

On a scale of 1 to 5, UN agencies are rating the Horn of Africa at a 4, one step below “catastrophe/famine.”  In a region where problems with security and governance are the typical concern, famine is now threatening over 9 million people.

Inadequate rainfall, coupled with high global food prices, have put the people of the region in a dangerous state of food insecurity.  In addition to the countries from the Horn of Africa (composed of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan), Uganda and Kenya are also feeling the effects of the food crisis.

According to a report in the Guardian,

“‘Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones,’ the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told a media briefing. ‘There is no likelihood of improvement until 2012”.

Child malnutrition rates are at 30% in some of the worst-hit areas.  The Guardian reports that the number of refugees from Somalia seeking relief by fleeing to Kenya has quadrupled in the past month.

The World Food Programme has started an emergency appeal to overcome funding shortcomings related to the crisis.   The alarm by UN agencies sounds nearly one month after the Famine Early Warning Network (Fewas) announced similar warnings about the region.

Posted by Michael Lucivero.

Photo credit: BBC/AFP