Global food crisis takes heavy toll on east Africa

In this recent world report published in the Lancet, an estimated 8·8 million people in east Africa are going hungry, and a sluggish international response is failing to address the growing crisis, which is approaching famine conditions in some areas.

The report says US Government’s Famine Early Warning Network issued a series of special alerts in June calling it “the most severe food security emergency in the world today…exacerbated by extremely high food prices, reduced coping capacity, and a limited humanitarian response”.

Emergency appeals throughout the region have only received 51% of the US$1·293 billion in requested funding for Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, according to the UN. “The response is slow, coming in small quantities, and coming in late, at a time when the impact has been hitting hard on children and pregnant women”,said Geoff rey Kalebbo Denye, of the aid agency World Vision in Kenya. If sufficient funds had arrived earlier, it could have substantially reduced the effect of the drought, he said.

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