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Worst drought in 60 years descends on Africa

EMERGENCY: Worst drought in 60 years

THE DROUGHT in Eastern Africa is the worst in 60 years, according to the latest humanitarian report.

According to the UN's Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the drought, which has taken hold of parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, will remain a major threat for at least another year.

The humanitarian office say that the situation is the most severe food security emergency in the world today with at least 8.8 million people in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia needing aid, with the numbers expected to rise in the coming months.

OCHA’s estimations show that 3.2 million people are affected in Ethiopia, more than 100,000 in Djibouti, 2.4 million in Kenya and 2.6 million in Somalia.

Their figures also show that some 30 per cent of children are suffering from Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM), the highest rate the region has seen.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) for Somalia, Mark Bowden has urged the public for their help. He said: “If we are not able to respond rapidly and effectively to the situation in Somalia, there will be many more lives lost to malnutrition.”

Following the shortage of rain that befell the region late last year, food prices have soared, affecting a number of poor homes.

It is estimated that the price for maize in the north and northeast Kenya has increased by 60-80 per cent, while livestock prices have declined by 20-30 per cent.

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