Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Horn of Africa situation worsens daily

The humanitarian crisis worsens Horn of Africa every day and runs the risk that the declared state of famine in two regions of Somalia to be extended to another five or six more, warned the UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos. "The crisis is intensifying in the Horn of Africa.

Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti is 12.4 million people in dire need of help as the situation worsens," said Amos told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York, where he said the situation was particularly worrying in Somalia. There, in two regions which the international organization two weeks ago declared a state of famine, Amos said the humanitarian crisis may be even more catastrophic proportions "unless there is a massive increase in the international response." "The famine soon be extended to five or six regions," warned the head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who recalled that "tens of thousands of Somalis have died and hundreds of thousands face a famine with implications for the entire region.

"Amos explained to the press stories of Somali mothers who are forced to abandon the death to their children as they walk for weeks fleeing drought and famine, and orphaned children who meet the refugee camps in the region, due to " the worst drought in 60 years. " "These stories and these pictures are a wake-up call reminding us that we must do everything possible to alleviate their suffering and all we can to (starvation) does not occur again," said the secretary-general, who recently visited the region.

Amos said that the situation in Somalia worsens, "because it is a country that lives in conflict" and because "there are armed groups that want the UN to have a presence there," referring to the militant al-Shabab militia, linked to Al Qaeda and to block the delivery of humanitarian aid in areas of Somalia under its control.

"We do everything we can through negotiations to change that," said general secretary, who said that "Somalia needs is peace, no peace because our capacity for action is greatly reduced." Amos said the situation in the Horn of Africa has not caught "by surprise" to the UN, as the body "and sounded all the alarms in this situation last year when he asked a thousand 600 million dollars to face the situation.

" He acknowledged that until last week had raised one billion dollars, but warned that the funds obtained to date are not sufficient given the gravity of a situation whose solution requires more donations than before. "Not enough. Today we urgently need a thousand 400 million dollars and we need them now.

We hope that donors respond, even those who have already done, and we have to convince businesses, foundations and private donors," said . In addition, he encouraged the international community to work together, "more consistent and larger scale," to prevent "recurrent drought situations do not lead to a state of famine" in the future.

The UN said last July 20th the state of famine in two regions of southern Somalia, Bakool and Lower Shabelle, something unprecedented in this country over the past 20 years. Nearly half of Somalia's population, about 3.7 million people suffer a humanitarian crisis, of which 2.8 million reside in the South, according to the UN while.

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