17 million people from the horn of Africa at risk of starvation, FAO warns

An estimated 17 million people need emergency food in Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

 

Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are in need of urgent food aid, Food Aid Organiation (FAO) has warned.

The UN body yesterday warned the risks are massive, the costs high and therefore actions should match words.

“The magnitude of the situation calls for scaled-up action and coordination at the national and regional levels. This is, above all, a livelihoods and humanitarian emergency. The time to act is now. We cannot wait for a disaster like the famine in 2011,” FAO deputy director general for Climate and Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo said as quoted by a local daily.

Semedo was speaking on the sidelines of the 28th AU Summit in Addis-Ababa, at a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Situation in the Horn of Africa chaired by the United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres where he pleaded for action as millions were at risk .

FAO estimates more than 17 million people need emergency food in Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

In Kenya, more than 1.25 million people are in urgent need of food, with hunger levels expected to worsen over the coming months according to Save the Children organization.

Coastal region, North Eastern region and parts of Baringo County have specially been hard hit by the drought with reports emerging that people are starting to succumb to starvation.

In a bid to arrest the situation before it deteriorates further, The Kenya Red Cross last week announced a fundraising drive, appealing to Kenyans to raise Sh1 billion to help tackle the drought crisis  ravaging  more than half of the country.

The fund will focus on interventions to mitigate drought, including nutrition, direct cash transfers, food vouchers, rehabilitation of key communal watering points and animal off-take and slaughter.

“All Kenyans need to come forward to donate to the Drought Appeal,” the Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary-General Abbas Gullet appealed.

The fund will help up to 340,786 people facing starvation in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot counties.

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