Millions starve as African leaders meet
From ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – AFRICAN and United Nations leaders meeting in Ethiopia beginning on Monday have been urged to address the plight of 6,5 million children at risk of starvation in East Africa.
They are among 15 million food insecure people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
Nearly 5 million people, half the country’s population, in Somalia are facing severe food and water shortages and are on the verge of famine.
In Kenya, more than 1,25 million people are in urgent need of food, with hunger levels expected to worsen over the coming months.
In Ethiopia, the drought is forcing many children to drop out of school, leaving them at risk of early marriage and forced migration. Over 5,6 million people are in need.
Several seasons of failed or erratic rainfall have led to severe water shortages and death of livestock.
“The lives of millions are at stake,” said John Graham, Ethiopia director for Save the Children.
He fears a repeat of the deaths of 130 000 children under five during the last Somalia famine in 2010 to 2012.
“We must not allow many of the same past errors that resulted in the deaths,” Graham said.
The risk of starvation is a result of back-to-back droughts.
With the next rainy season expected to bring below-average rainfall across the region, the situation for already desperate children and families in the region.
As donors, political leaders and the secretary general of the UN, António Guterres, will this week meet in Addis Ababa for the 28th ordinary session of the African Union.
– CAJ NEWS
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