THE UNITED NATIONS: A UN-backed conference gathered $2.4 billion on Wednesday to prevent starvation in the Horn of Africa, which is experiencing its worst drought in decades as global temperatures increase.

The funds will offer life-saving assistance to almost 32 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, according to a statement from the UN’s humanitarian office, OCHA.
“Famine has been averted, thanks in part to the tremendous efforts of local communities, humanitarian organizations, and authorities, as well as the support of donors,” OCHA said.

However, the amount is far less than the $7 billion estimated by the UN to be required to assist those affected by drought and conflict in the region.

“The emergency is far from over, and additional resources are urgently required to prevent a return to the worst-case scenario,” OCHA stated.

Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan have been suffering from the region’s worst drought in 40 years since late 2020.

Five failed rainy seasons have displaced millions of people, devastated crops, and killed millions of cattle.
According to OCHA, more than 23.5 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are suffering from acute food insecurity.

According to figures from the UN and the Norwegian Refugee Council, the number of people displaced from their homes by armed conflict, drought, or floods in Somalia alone now stands at 3.8 million, with 6.7 million people struggling to find food.

According to the two organizations, more than 500,000 youngsters are dangerously malnourished.
Hunger-related deaths are on the rise across Africa, according to UN officials and scientists, as a result of droughts exacerbated by climate change and violence.
The World Weather Attribution group, an international team of climate scientists, stated in an April report that the terrible drought in the Horn of Africa could not have occurred without the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
“We can be anything but complacent,” stated Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa in the United Kingdom. “The clear and present danger persists, and we must act now to avoid further suffering.”
“The funding pledged today will benefit millions of people, but we must all work together to break the cycle of crisis that is afflicting so many states.”

Earlier this week, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including Islamic Relief Worldwide and Save the Children called on donors to fully support the humanitarian response to “one of the biggest climate injustices of our time.”

According to UN figures, despite resources raised to aid the region last year, an estimated 43,000 people died from drought in Somalia alone in 2022.

At the start of the donors’ summit, which was co-hosted by Italy, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United States, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “an immediate and major injection of funding” to prevent people from dying.

“We must act now to prevent the crisis from turning into a catastrophe,” he added, adding that donor countries provided critical assistance to 20 million people in the region last year, averting starvation.

People in the region, which Guterres described as “the epicenter of one of the world’s worst climate emergencies,” he added, were “paying an unconscionable price for a climate crisis they did nothing to cause.”

“We owe them our support.” We owe them our help. And we owe them some hope for the future. This necessitates quick action to ensure their survival. “It also means sustained action to assist communities across the Horn of Africa in adapting to and building resilience to climate change,” he added.

According to OCHA, the monies donated on Wednesday will help humanitarian agencies to maintain food, water, health care, nutrition, and protection pipelines.

The UN’s deputy emergency assistance coordinator, Joyce Msuya, praised the offer but said, “We must persist in pushing for increased investments, particularly to strengthen the resilience of people already bearing the brunt of climate change.”




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