Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande depicted as Hitler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

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)