Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey: Inside the Alevi community

Read more

FOCUS

China: A tense Christmas in Wenzhou

Read more

Africa

African Horn in 'worst drought' in 60 years

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-28

A UN spokeswoman said on Tuesday that some areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda are seeing "one of the driest years since 1950/51," due to two consecutive years of low rainfall.

Reuters - The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said.

“Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones,” Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a media briefing.

“There is no likelihood of improvement (in the situation)until 2012,” she said.

Food prices have risen substantially in the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge, she said.

A U.N. map of food security in the eastern Horn of Africa shows large swathes of central Kenya and Somalia in the “emergency” category, one phase before what the U.N. classifies as catastrophe/famine—the fifth and worst category.

Child malnutrition rates in the worst affected areas are more than double the emergency threshold of 15 percent and are expected to rise further, Byrs said.

High mortality rates among children are reported, but she had no figures for the toll.

Drought and fighting are driving ever greater numbers of Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks, the U.N. refuge agency UNHCR said on Friday. It voiced alarm at the dramatic rise, noting the average monthly outflow had been about 10,000 so far this year.

Almost half the Somali children arriving in refugee camps in Ethiopia are malnourished, and those arriving in Kenya are little better, Byrs said.

U.N. humanitarian appeals for Somalia and Kenya, each about $525 million, are barely 50 percent funded, while a $30 million appeal for Djibouti is just 30 percent funded, she said.
 

Date created : 2011-06-28

  • FRANCE

    Farmers in crisis as worst drought in decades bites

    Read more

COMMENT(S)