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[Dehai-WN] Momentng.com: Save Horn of Africa

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 22:50:53 +0100

Save Horn of Africa

THE Horn of Africa is going through the worst humanitarian disaster ever
recorded in history.

Posted at 31/01/2012 09:06 AM | Updated at 30/01/2012 09:06 AM

By Abiodun Olaifa


THE Horn of Africa is going through the worst humanitarian disaster ever
recorded in history.


The immense lack of rain is causing severe water and pasture shortages,
death of livestock and poor livelihood, poor harvest, food insecurity and


The drought has adversely affected over 12 million people in the region,
comprising of Djibouti, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Many people
have died, yet many more will die, except something is done urgently.


Drought in the Horn of Africa has lasted several years, but the last two
years are the worst on record, forcing the price of food and cost of living
beyond the reach of most families, a lot of families have moved to refugee


The Dadaab refugee camps, based in Kenya, welcome over 1,000 people on a
daily basis, most of the refugees are Somalians fleeing the drought and the
war that have lasted a few years.


The camps already have almost 400,000 refugees, stretching its capacity
beyond limit. The same is the case in the Kobe and Hilaweyn camps in
Ethiopia, with many malnourished refugees.


A recent report released by the United States government showed that 29,000
children under five years died in the region between May and July 2011.


The Department for International Development (DFID) also suggested that
between 50,000 and 100,000 people died in 2011, more than half of this
people are children under five years old.


The figure is projected to double in 2012 if measures are not put in place
immediately to address the disaster already ravaging the Horn of Africa.


Emergency responses need to be improved to avoid more deaths, as the chronic
food shortages in the region have gone beyond expectation since the rain
stopped in October 2010 and 10 million people need help as soon as possible.


Several aid agencies have been involved in various projects, providing
money, food, temporary shelter and many more, to give support to the people
of the region.


Help has equally been coming from all over the world, and they are all
commendable, but more still needs to be done. There is need for Africa to
rise to its own aid; there is need for its people to help themselves, rather
than being enmeshed in wars, crime, corruption and wickedness.


There is urgent need for millions of dollars, if we must to stop this
crisis. Just last year, the United Nations appealed for $500 million for
Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.


This appeal has only yielded half of the desired result. A similar appeal of
$30 million for Djibouti has only yielded 30 per cent of the target.


Charities say there has been very slow response to the situation from
donors, the international community and aid agencies, leading to loss of
many lives.


NGOs such as Oxfam and Save the Children have confirmed that the early
warning system has forecasted an emergency situation, since August 2010, but
a full-scale response to the situation did not start until July 2011,
leading to the death of many people and animals.


The African Union met last year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to raise funds
through a conference. The leaders and institutions made pledges totalling
$380 million, with $300 million of that coming from the African Development
Bank, projected to be spent over the next four years.


African countries promised to donate 51 million, with Algeria, Angola and
Egypt leading the way. However, not all the countries have fulfilled their
pledges so far. There is urgent need for the 54 AU member states to
contribute as pledged and do a lot more.


The governments of Africa are not doing much to stop the crisis; they are
not doing a lot to protect the lives of the poor and dying refugees. They
are only enmeshed in their corruption and selfish interests. There is war,
killing of innocent citizens, all sponsored by the rich, creating more
instability and violence.


A few greedy Africans seem to benefit from the disaster and are happy for
more people to die. They sponsor rebels with arms and ammunition in the
regions, rather than give humanitarian aid.


There is no value for life, people are killed with ease and many more are
left to die, while the leaders stash away money and resources they don’t
have need for.


The humanitarian situation is already spreading to other parts of Africa;
there is gross insecurity, diseases, acute poverty, high cost of living,
corrupt leaders, weak economies, religious violence and lack of power


The drought is returning to the arid, western shoulder of Africa referred to
as the Sahel region. Aid agencies are warning that if immediate action is
not taken, the region could slip into crisis and a potential famine is
looming in West Africa.


Niger government was the first country to issue an alert last year. Other
countries in the region with potential crisis are Senegal, Mauritania, Mali,
Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroun and Chad.


Africans are suffering and dying, but not many seem to be helping. It is not
too late to support the Horn of Africa. Let us all donate to stop death and
acute famine. Every African deserves life and any amount of money you donate
will go a long way to save a life.


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Received on Wed Feb 01 2012 - 16:51:00 EST
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