As donors convene in Geneva, Oxfam and over 50 NGOs call for an urgent and substantial step-up in funding and leadership to respond to the humanitarian catastrophe facing millions in the Horn of Africa due to the severe drought, warning that further delays will cost lives.
One in five people (282m) is now under-nourished and 93 million in 36 African countries are suffering extreme levels of hunger. Women and children are hit hardest. In Sub-Saharan Africa, one in three children under five is stunted by chronic undernutrition while two out of five women of childbearing age is anemic because of poor diets.
Oxfam says governments and donors must act with greater urgency in the face of a deteriorating crisis and rising needs in East Africa. Donors must move beyond promises and immediately turn money pledged into action on the ground, as more than half a million people are at risk of starvation.
A consortium of aid organizations today announced that Mary Robinson will travel this weekend to the drought stricken region of the Horn of Africa. The consortium – including Concern Worldwide, Trocaire and Oxfam – collectively reach in excess of a million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
While the international community has stepped up to help those impacted by mega-emergencies, such as the earthquake in Haiti or the floods in Pakistan, unfortunately, “slow-onset” humanitarian crises, such as the worsening drought in the Horn in Africa, have not received the same attention.