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Hunger grips the Horn of Africa

The UK government has been asked to pay “due attention” to the food crisis gripping the Horn of Africa, as new polling shows that just two out of ten Britons are aware that the worst drought in 40 years is even occurring, much alone causing catastrophe.

The cumulative effect of three failed rainy seasons has pushed sections of Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia to the brink, destroying livestock, causing people to flee their homes, and raising child malnutrition levels. The Russian invasion has exacerbated the situation, driving up the cost of basic foods like wheat and sunflower oil, as well as petrol.

However, whereas 91 percent of the British population is aware of Vladimir Putin’s conflict, just 23% are aware of the rising humanitarian catastrophe in east Africa, according to Christian Aid surveys.

Christian Aid CEO Patrick Watt called the results “very disturbing.”

“Around 20 million people in the Horn of Africa are hungry.” Droughts have been more severe and frequent in recent years, so this is not surprising. However, the fighting in Ukraine has exacerbated an already poor situation. “We are seeing people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia experiencing a catastrophe like no other,” Watt added, citing rising food and energy costs throughout the world.

“While we are grateful for the public’s reaction to humanitarian needs in Ukraine, the fact that so few people in the United Kingdom are aware of the tragedy in the Horn of Africa is very alarming.”

International NGOs and UN agencies have been warning for months that the tremendous outpouring of funds and sympathy for Ukraine, although welcome and important, is diverting attention away from some of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises.
In Somalia, nearly 6 million people, or 40% of the population, are suffering from severe hunger, and the World Food Programme warned last month that the drought might lead to “a very serious risk of famine” if aid is not provided.

In Somalia, nearly 6 million people, or 40% of the population, are suffering from severe hunger, and the World Food Programme warned last month that the drought might lead to “a very serious risk of famine” if aid is not provided.

According to the World Food Programme, the number of individuals in need of food assistance in Kenya has increased by more than fourfold in less than two years. Every day, an estimated 7.2 million Ethiopians in the south and south-east wake up hungry, according to the report. A coalition of relief organisations is pressing the UK government to act to avert famine, keep food cheap, and commit to reverse its cuts to overseas aid as the G7 foreign ministers gather in Germany this week.

“We must raise the alarm and provide hope to those in the region who are in need.” “The global cost of living problem necessitates immediate government and development sector response,” Watt added.

Savanta, a polling firm, questioned more than 2,100 participants for the survey.

Courtesy Bol News

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