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Face of Hunger Africa crisis
« on: July 28, 2011, 02:03:26 AM »
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The face of the crisis in Africa
Yahoo!7 July 28, 2011, 2:14 pm
8 Comments

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Seven-month-old Mihag Gedi Farah was just hours away from death when his mother brought him to an aid camp in Dadaab, Kenya.

Mihag's mother embarked on a desperate mission to find aid after all her family's sheep and cattle died, walking for a week before she made it to the field hospital of the International Rescue Committee.

The baby boy, who weighed just 3.4kg when he arrived at the camp, now has only a 50/50 chance of surviving, doctors have said.

The startling image of the emaciated young Kenyan has become a reminder of the hardships faced by people in Africa.

Europe's humanitarian aid commissioner has told of the "heartbreaking" scenes in Somalia and Kenya.

Parts of the Horn of Africa are plagued with disease and starvation, and the UN has declared famine two pockets of Somalia and has warned of it spreading.

$41.15 million of additional aid has been sent to the region by the European Union, which will also provide another $88.81 million this year.

The plight of millions of Africans has worsened in recent times, with the worst drought in 60 years hitting regions of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva warned of the desperate need of additional assistance in what she described as a “very, very dramatic emergency”.

Where you can donate

Several aid organisations based in Australia have launched appeals for donations to help the people of East Africa.

Donated money goes towards providing health care, food, water, sanitation and refugee assistance and protection.

Many organisations are already on the ground in East Africa, including UNHCR, CARE, The Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Most donations are tax deductible. Information about how your donation is spent can be found on most organisations’ websites.
Unicef Australia East Africa Emergency Appeal
Oxfam East Africa Food Crisis Appeal
Red Cross East Africa Drought Appeal
Care Australia East Africa Drought Crisis Appeal
Australia for UNHCR East Africa Crisis Appeal
Anglicord East Africa Drought Relief Appeal

Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia

Many Somalian refugees are fleeing to Kenya and Ethioia, and the two countries are struggling to cope with the influx.

“Let’s not forget, once they cross these borders, they turn into refugees who may never return and they are creating tremendous pressure on resources in these countries in very harsh parts of Kenya and Ethiopia,” Ms Georgieva said .

Some families had walked up to 30 days to try and reach the Ethiopian border, Ms Georgieva said. Many also make long journeys to Somalia's capital of Mogadishu in search of aid at the newly created camp there.

"Over the past month, UNHCR figures show that nearly 40,000 Somalis displaced by drought and famine have converged on Mogadishu in search of food, water, shelter and other assistance," said Vivian Tan, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"A further 30,000 have arrived at settlements around Mogadishu.

"In total, it is estimated that Mogadishu has received up to 100,000 internally displaced people over the last two months. The daily numbers are still around 1000 in July," Ms Tan said.

Local fighting has made the distribution of food more difficult for welfare workers.

At an emergency meeting on the Horn Africa drought in Rome Monday, officials said the UN had received about $US1 billion ($924.56 million) since first launching an appeal for the region in November 2010 but needs a billion more by the end of the year to cope with the emergency.

The World Bank on Monday pledged more than $500 million, with the bulk of the money set to go towards long-term projects to aid livestock farmers while $12 million would be for immediate assistance to those worst hit by the crisis.

However charities have slammed low aid pledges and say not enough is being done.

Aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned in a statement on Tuesday that the situation remains dire for more than 387,000 mainly Somali refugees now in the Dadaab camp complex in eastern Kenya.

Thousands of refugees continue to arrive but are not receiving basic support, MSF said.

"Whilst many of these refugees remain on the outskirts of the camps they are still not receiving adequate assistance," MSF said in a statement.

"Delays in registration and access to food, water and shelter are tipping them over the edge."

The WFP flights will be carrying around 14 metric tonnes of high energy food aimed to combat malnutrition, especially for children.

Flights will also go to the Ethiopian town of Dolo on the border with Somalia and to the town of Wajir in northern Kenya.

Other organisations have already made relief deliveries, with the UN children's agency airlifting five tonnes of aid into rebel-held part of southern Somalia earlier this month.

The International Red Cross on Sunday said it had handed out 400 tonnes of food in drought-hit areas controlled by the hardline Shebab insurgents, the first ICRC-led drops into such areas since 2009.

The WFP was forced to pull out of southern Somalia last year after a series of threats and curbs on its operations from Shebab rebels, but it has continued to operate in Mogadishu and central and northern regions of the war-torn country.
In Mogadishu alone, WFP assists approximately 300,000 people and it has been scaling up operations with three new centres to feed the large numbers of internally displaced people flooding into the city from the south.


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Face of Hunger Africa crisis
« on: July 28, 2011, 02:03:26 AM »

 

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