Friday, September 4, 2009

Millions face starvation in East African drought

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: A sweeping drought across East Africa has left millions of people at risk of starvation, in a region plagued by increasingly erratic rainfall, humanitarian organisations and officials warn. Huge food shortages and loss of livelihood has left 6.2 million Ethiopians needing relief aid, while about 3.8 million in Kenya's arid areas, where livestock is being decimated, have also been affected, UN agencies say.

War-ravaged Somalia is witnessing its worst humanitarian crisis since civil unrest erupted there two decades ago, with a third of its 10 million people in need of food assistance and one in every five children acutely malnourished. Three years ago, a searing drought put more than 11 million people in the region at risk of starvation.

For Kenya, "this is the worst (drought) in nearly a decade. One in ten Kenyans are in need of food assistance," Marcus Prior, a World Food Programme spokesman in Nairobi, told AFP. "The situation is extremely serious. Rains have failed across many areas," said Prior, whose organisation recently appealed for 230 million dollars to help drought victims….

The Serengeti as seen from Kenya, shot by Joseph L. Hartman, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.

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