Ban 'extremely worried' by Horn of Africa drought
(AFP) – 19 hours ago
UNITED NATIONS — UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he was "extremely worried" about the extreme drought threatening famine and death on a massive scale in the Horn of Africa.
"More than 11 millions people need urgent assistance to stay alive, as they face their worst drought in decades," the UN secretary general said. "This morning I called an urgent emergency meeting with the heads of UN agencies."
Ban said immediate action must be taken if millions in the Horn of Africa are to avoid starvation.
"We must do everything we can to prevent this crisis deepening. The human cost of this crisis is catastrophic. We cannot afford to wait."
Thousands of Somalis have fled their country in recent months to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia to seek help from the devastation.
In Ethiopia, where conditions are also dire, agriculture officials said this week that some 4.5 million of its people will require humanitarian food through the end of the year.
The UN's World Food Programme said last week it expects 10 million people across the region to need food aid, revising upward an earlier estimate of six million.