from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE worst drought in 40 years could be more catastrophic than the 2011 hunger that left 260 000 people dead in the Horn of Africa.
Concern Worldwide is scaling up its response to provide increased support to millions of people in the region to avert the calamity.
Millions in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are grappling the worst drought in four decades.
“I was in Kenya in 2011,” Amina Abdulla, Concern’s Regional Director for the Horn of Africa, recalled.
The envoy noted the above-mentioned deaths.
“What I am seeing now is far worse,” Abdullah added.
“We are dealing with double the caseloads we had back then and the numbers keep increasing by the day with thousands of people moving from their homes in search of food, water and healthcare,” Abdullah said.
Concern has since April scaled up its operations to reach 2,5 million people in the Horn of Africa, as well as Sudan and South Sudan, with a range of assistance including support for over 100 000 children through nutrition interventions.
Somalia has 7,7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
In Ethiopia 7,2 million people need food assistance. More than half of them also need access to drinking water.
Over 90 percent of open water sources have dried up in Kenya’s pastoral areas. Those remaining are expected to last just one to two months.
Insufficient funding deters efforts to curtail deaths in the region.
“To prevent this, we need more funding to enable humanitarian organisations to respond to all in need,” Abdullah said.
– CAJ News