cloudy.png
Wednesday February 19th, 2020 11:51AM

UN: 2 million Somalis could die of starvation amid drought

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A United Nations emergency relief coordinator says more than 2 million men, women and children could die of starvation in Somalia by summer's end if international aid is not sent quickly to the drought-stricken African country.

U.N. Undersecretary-General Mark Lowcock says about $700 million is needed after a rainless season that has killed both livestock and crops.

He said Tuesday that the U.N.'s Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated $45 million to cover food shortages, water and daily necessities in Somalia as well as parts of Kenya and Ethiopia affected by droughts.

Of a Somali population of 15 million people, more than 3 million are struggling just to meet minimum food requirements, he said, and the shortages are about 40 percent worse now than this past winter.

"What was forecast to be an average rainy season in Somalia is now one of the driest on record in over 35 years," he said. "Communities that were already vulnerable due to past droughts are again facing severe hunger and water scarcity and are at risk from deadly communicable diseases."

The U.N. aid complements efforts by governments of the three countries to assist their people, especially those with disabilities or who are internally displaced.

Somalia's humanitarian fund is currently depleted. If financial aid is delayed, the cost of saving lives on the margin of death are much higher, Lowcock said, adding that the option then is to turn to expensive, therapeutic feeding programs.

"We could have a quick response now, which would be cheaper, reduce human suffering and more effective, or we can wait for a few months until we get all those horrible pictures on our TV screens and social media of starving kids," Lowcock said.

Lowcock, who heads the U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs, said that in past decades droughts came about every half dozen years but recently they have hit every two or three years.

"There's not really any question in my mind that these more frequent droughts are related to global warming and climate change," the U.N. official said. "So the only middle- and longer-term response is to look at alternative livelihoods — a different way to make a living."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Thai Parliament votes for coup leader to stay on as PM
Thailand's Parliament has elected coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister in a vote that helps ensure the military's sustained dominance of politics since the country became a constitutional monarchy nearly nine decades ago
1:39PM ( 6 minutes ago )
UN: 2 million Somalis could die of starvation amid drought
UN: 2 million Somalis could die of starvation by summer's end if aid is not sent quickly to the drought-stricken African country
1:38PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Legal experts question deputy's arrest over Parkland tragedy
Some legal experts are questioning the arrest of a Florida sheriff's deputy for not confronting the gunman in the Parkland school massacre
1:34PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Unofficial count: Thai Parliament votes for coup leader
Thailand's Parliament has given Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a 2014 military coup, enough votes to stay on as prime minister, according to an unofficial count
12:47PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Russian, Chinese leaders hail burgeoning ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping for Kremlin talks reflecting increasingly close ties between the two former Cold War-era communist rivals
12:47PM ( 59 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump says reports of NK execution inaccurate
President Donald Trump is dismissing reports that a former North Korean negotiator in the nuclear talks with the United States had been executed _ reportedly over Kim Jong Un's unsuccessful summit with the president in February
12:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Thai Parliament votes for coup leader to stay on as PM
Thailand's Parliament has elected coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister in a vote that helps ensure the military's sustained dominance of politics since the country became a constitutional monarchy nearly nine decades ago
1:39PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Legal experts question deputy's arrest over Parkland tragedy
Some legal experts are questioning the arrest of a Florida sheriff's deputy for not confronting the gunman in the Parkland school massacre
1:34PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Thai coup leader uses ballot box to stay as prime minister
Prayuth Chan-ocha completed his transition from military general to civilian leader on Wednesday when Thailand's Parliament chose him as prime minister
1:17PM ( 28 minutes ago )
White House ends fetal tissue research by federal scientists
In victory for abortion foes, White House ends fetal tissue research by federal scientists
1:15PM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: General: Probe begun into Sudan sit-in break-up
The deputy head of Sudan's ruling military council says they have begun a "fair and independent" investigation into the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in by protesters and other clashes
1:15PM ( 31 minutes ago )