Over 37 million people face acute hunger in Horn of Africa, WHO warns

Over 37 million people face acute hunger in Horn of Africa, WHO warns
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that more than 37 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa are facing acute hunger, as the region experiences one of the worst famines of the last 70 years.

The agency pointed out that approximately seven million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished in the region.

The WHO acknowledged the need to find food and water for those facing hunger, and also called for ensuring a strong health emergency response to avert preventable disease and deaths.

It appealed for $123.7 million in funding to respond to rising health needs and prevent a food crisis from turning into a health crisis. 

"The situation is already catastrophic, and we need to act now," said Ibrahima Soce Fall, WHO Assistant Director General for Emergencies Response. "We cannot continue in this underfunding crisis."

The drought in the Horn of African region has been compounded by climate change, conflict, rising food prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are now four seasons where the rain didn't come as predicted and a fifth season is estimated to also fail. Places where there is drought the problem keeps worsening and worsening," said WHO Incident Manager Sophie Maes.

Countries affected include Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.
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