UNITED NATIONS New
York (Xinhua) -- Stephen O’Brien, the
UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, will travel
from Oslo to Yemen, Somalia and Kenya between Feb. 26 and March
5 to meet people most affected by humanitarian crises, a UN
spokesman said here Friday.
"In all three countries,
Mr. O’Brien will meet people most affected by humanitarian
crises, which are caused chiefly by conflict and drought,"
Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
"Millions of people in Yemen and Somalia face the very real
risk of famine over the coming six months if aid efforts are not
rapidly scaled up," the spokesman said.
In Yemen, more than SEVEN million people are severely food
insecure and 460,000 children are suffering severe acute
malnutrition, while in Somalia nearly 3 million people urgently
need food assistance, he said.
Kenya declared a drought emergency on Feb. 10, with at least
23 counties affected, he said, adding that the number of food
insecure people in Kenya has more than doubled to 2.7 million in
the past six months.
O’Brien will meet with stakeholders on the humanitarian
crises in all three countries, he added.
Aid agency says imminent
famine threatens children survival in Somalia
MOGADISHU (Xinhua) --
An international aid agency warned Friday a
looming famine in Somalia is threatening the lives of hundreds
of thousands of children and their families who cannot access
World Vision Somalia said most pastoralists who have lost
their livestock have extremely low capacity to cope, and so do
millions of internally displaced people (IDPs).
"We have a very short time left to prevent children from
starving to death and concerns are growing. If we are going to
wait for the rains it will be too late," Simon Nyabwengi,
National Director, World Vision International-Somalia Programme
warned in a statement.
"With 71,000 children already severely malnourished, they are
likely to die if they don’t get urgent help. We will not want to
stand on graves of children that could have been saved,"
The charity said successive failed rains across Somalia,
together with falling incomes, rising food prices and continuing
problems with access as a result of conflict and insecurity,
have exhausted the coping strategies of vulnerable families.
The number of people facing food insecurity has risen
dramatically, and is projected to reach and surpass 6 million
between now and June.
World Vision is seeking 18.5 million U.S. dollars to provide
life-saving assistance to 530,000 drought affected people in
Puntland, Somaliland, South West State and Jubaland between
January and December 2017.
The Horn of Africa nation is severely affected given the
limited recovery from the 2011 famine, a situation that is
exacerbated by protracted conflict, widespread poverty and
inadequate access to basic services.
"These (71,000) children and their families need immediate
life-saving assistance and access to food, water, medicine and
other basic services essential for their survival as time is
running out fast.
"A window of early action has been missed, for history not to
repeat action cannot be delayed any longer," Nyabwengi said.
World Vision is carrying out water trucking in Jariban in
Puntland enabling access to safe and clean water for drinking,
household use and for livestock consumption.
The charity also has a resilience programme to help women
start up village savings and loans associations to build savings
and provide alternative livelihoods by teaching them how to save
small money on a regular basis for future use.
"We have been able to keep 73,000 children alive by providing
them with nutritional supplements, we have trucked water to
10,000 people," Nyabwengi said.
However, the resources available for this intervention are
inadequate to meet the needs of increasing movement of people
into these areas in search of pasture and water.