Sunday 24 September 2017

Nine million relying on famine aid one year on

Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. Photo: Getty Images
Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. Photo: Getty Images

Zoe Flood in Nairobi

MORE than nine million people in the Horn of Africa need humanitarian assistance a year on from the declaration of famine, according to the UN.

In Somalia, the worst-affected country, some 2.5 million people are still surviving on aid.

"Mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia have improved dramatically but remain among the highest in the world," Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said.

The UN declared famine in parts of the country on July 20 last year, the first time since the 1990s that the term had been used officially.

The famine classification was lifted in February, but tens of thousands are believed to have died and experts expect cyclical drought to blight the region.

Aid agencies warn that a further 1.3 million of Somalia's population could slide back into crisis over the next two months.

"In 2011, the world didn't act until famine was declared, and the delay cost lives and money," country director for Oxfam Senait Gebregziabher said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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