Relief team leader stresses urgent need for assistance as millions face drought in Horn of Africa – Global issues

The drought has led to four failed rainy seasons in a row, and the worry is that the number could rise to 20 million if the current below-average rains do not occur.

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths was in the region this week on a two-day mission to Kenya to raise awareness of the climate emergency, which comes at a time The global point of view is focusing on many crises.

Last month, he released $12 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for drought response, while another $17 million was allocated from the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund.

Poor family

The relief team leader arrived in remote Turkana county, northern Kenya, on Thursday to show solidarity with local communities and stress the need for more funding and food aid.

UN and partners ask for $480 million to support humanitarian work through the end of October.

“The world’s attention is elsewhere and we know it,” he say. “And the misery of the world has not yet left Turkana. And the rains of the world did not come to Turkana”.

Mr. Griffiths speaks to families who have nothing left in Lomoputh. Their animals are dead and there is no way to make money.

‘Impossible choice’

Although children can sometimes get food at school – often the only thing to eat ready – this requires walking six kilometers to get water for the children to bring.

As a result, mothers are forced to make “impossible choices,” he said.

“One of them told us that some of them have children of middle school age… but to pay tuition for a secondary school in this area, you need to sell livestock. Sell ​​a goat, as she said. No more goats. No more livestock. They’re already gone.”

Malnutrition and migration

About 3.5 million people in Kenya are suffering from severe food insecurity, and rates of acute malnutrition in some areas are more than double the emergency threshold, according to the United Nations office for humanitarian affairs. , OCHAwhich Mr. Griffiths heads.

Across all three countries, about 5.7 million children are severely malnourished,

In addition, more than three million livestock — on which livestock families depend for food and survival — have died.

Mr. Griffiths concluded his mission to Kenya on Friday, meeting virtually with people in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Severe drought is affecting more than eight million people across the country. More than 7.2 million people need food aid, and about 4 million need water assistance.

At least 286,000 people have migrated in search of water, pasture or assistance, but others, often elderly or sick, have remained.

In a post on Twitter, Mr Griffiths urged the international community not to ignore the rapidly escalating crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Grandfather Written. “We need to give them a future.”

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