A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam Reaction to UN Mini-Summit on Horn of Africa
Kirsten Hagon, Oxfam’s Head of Office in New York said:
“What was missing at this debate was the importance of enhanced diplomatic engagement with all parties to the conflict in Somalia. With over 750,000 people risking death in the next four months, we must do all we can to improve and ensure the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid.
“All impediments on providing impartial and high-quality assistance to people living in areas dominated by armed groups must be removed.
“It’s encouraging to see that many of the pledges made today came from Islamic countries. However, the majority of countries and donors recycled old pledges and little new money was announced today for the Horn of Africa crisis. There is still a massive gap of over 690m to fill in the next months and more will be needed throughout much of 2012 and beyond. It is also essential that all aid is delivered impartially and based on need.
“What has already been given has saved countless of lives and we can’t slow down now. Aid groups are on the ground, delivering food, water, medicines and other vital aid to Somalis that have lost everything. If we want to keep these people alive and improve their lives, more funds will need to come in urgently."
Louis Belanger, Humanitarian Media Officer @ Oxfam International +1 917 224 0834 or on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/louis_press