"famine has been averted"the UN raises USD 2.4 billion for the Horn of Africa

The international community pledged this Wednesday at the UN to donate 2,400 million dollars, of the 7,000 million required, to alleviate the famine in the Horn of Africa caused by a historic drought and conflicts.

“Famine has been averted” thanks to the efforts of local communities, humanitarian organizations and donor support, according to the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA).

More than 32 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia depend on humanitarian aid to survive, after the worst drought in 40 years caused by the lack of rain in the last five years.

The pledged aid will go towards bringing food, water, medical care, nutrition and protective services to communities most affected by a combination of events including a historic drought, conflict and economic crisis.

But this money is still insufficientwarned the UN, which estimates the humanitarian aid needs for this region at 7,000 million dollars throughout 2023.

If this is not achieved, “emergency operations will be paralyzed and people will die,” warned the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres at the opening of the meeting.

“Exorbitant” price

The Horn of Africa, which encompasses a region made up of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan, is the epicenter of one of the world’s worst climate emergencies, according to the UN.

Their habitants “They are paying an exorbitant price for a climate crisis that they did not cause”Guterres said.

In the case of Somalia alone, the drought caused the death of 40,000 people, half under five years of age, Guterres said, citing data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). .

Since the beginning of 2023, armed conflicts, floods and drought have displaced more than a million people in this country.exacerbating the risks of famine, the UN Refugee Agency (HCR) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) announced in Nairobi on Wednesday.

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In total, of the 17 million inhabitants of Somalia, more than 3.8 million are displaced, which only aggravates an already disastrous humanitarian situation with some 6.7 million people having problems meeting their needs. food,” these organizations explained in a statement.

More than half a million children suffer from severe malnutritionalert.

After the drought, floods

Although the recent rains are beginning to alleviate a historic drought in the region, they are also causing flooding that has affected more than 900,000 people, according to the UN. And the El Niño weather phenomenon can lead to more displacement, death and disease later in the year.

Nevertheless, it will take years for the region to recover from the historic droughtwhich is why representatives of NGOs, states and experts are looking for lasting solutions so that people can adapt to climate change.

“Now, more than ever, as global humanitarian needs increase, our action cannot be limited to covering the most immediate needs, but we must seek adapted solutions and avoid deterioration,” said the Italian government’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister. , Antonio Tajani, at the conference.

Fund pledges will help millions of people, but we must work together to break the cycle of crisis that affects many states,” said UK Africa and Development Minister Andrew Mitchell.

Joyce Msuya, the UN’s deputy emergency relief coordinator, welcomed the pledge of funds, but added: “We must continue to push for increased investment, especially to build the resilience of people who are already bearing the consequences of climate change. “.

According to a study published at the end of April by the world network of scientists World Weather Attribution (WWA), The historical drought suffered by this region is an unprecedented combination of lack of rain and high temperatures which are a direct consequence of the gas emissions that fuel global warming.

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