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African organization calls for humanitarian response to drought

Addis Ababa, Mar 27 (Prensa Latina) The executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Workneh Gebeyehu, today called for an urgent humanitarian response to the areas affected by drought in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.

According to IGAD, over the past two years, countries of the Horn of Africa have recorded five consecutive below-average rainfall seasons and recent rainfall may not reflect the overall seasonal performance.

Gebeyehu warned that the consequences of these crises such as severe water and pasture shortages, have displaced one million people, more than 10 million livestock and wildlife deaths, reduced crop and livestock production and have increased food insecurity.

He regretted that 47 million persons are food insecure and some are at risk of starvation. Seventy percent of that number are residents of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

“We solemnly call on the international community to help us prevent a major humanitarian disaster by putting in place the necessary resources to save lives and livelihoods in a short term, and to continue to invest in building resilience in the medium and long term”, he said.

He specified that, in the case of Addis Ababa, $710 million is required to support key sector needs over the next four months.

Nairobi and Mogadishu require $378 million and $1.6 billion, respectively, to provide food and non-food items and vaccination to affected communities and internally displaced persons until next October, the IGAD official added.

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