Friday, October 28, 2011

UNICEF: More Resources are Needed in the Horn of Africa

The massive humanitarian response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa has eased the suffering of many, but more resources are needed to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in central and southern Somalia. Elhadi As Sy, the UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, called for the scaling up of integrated intervention in health, nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, education and child protection.

In its monthly report, UNICEF detailed the scale and impact of the famine.
  • 13.3 million people are in need of assistance across the Horn of Africa, half of them children. 
  • Famine has been declared in six areas of Somalia
  • The lives of 750,000 people are at risk if relief efforts are not increased by December. 
  • Thousands of children have already died, and more than 320,000 - half of them in central and southern Somalia - are suffering from life threatening malnutrition. 
  • More than 450,000 Somalis have fled to refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya. Another 183,000 Somalis have entered Ethiopia, and around 20,000 Somalis have fled to Djibouti.  
The report gave thanks to the international community, for allowing UNICEF and partners across the Horn of Africa to achieve important results on which to build. In the past three months over 10,000 tons of supplies have been delivered to the Horn of Africa. Over 108,000 malnourished children have been treated through therapeutic feeding centers, and some 2.2 million people have received safe drinking water.  

While the humanitarian response to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa has helped thousands, more resources are needed to maintain the relief effort. Thus, although much has been done, it is important to remember that the crisis is far from over.  

- Madeline R. Lee