THIS year’s drought is the worst in east Africa since 2000, and possibly since 1991. Famine stalks the land. The failure of rains in parts of Ethiopia may increase the number needing food handouts by 5m, in addition to the 8m already getting them, in a population of 80m. The production of Kenyan maize, the country’s staple, is likely to drop by one-third, hitting poor farmers’ families hardest. The International Committee of the Red Cross says famine in Somalia is going to be worse than ever. Handouts are urgently needed by roughly 3.6m Somalis, nearly half the resident population (several million having already emigrated during years of strife). In fractious northern Uganda cereal output is likely to fall by half. Parts of South Sudan, Eritrea, the Central African Republic and Tanzania are suffering too. Rich countries are being less generous than usual. The UN’s World Food Programme says it has only $24m of the $300m it needs just to feed hungry Kenyans for the next six months.Read the whole thing. It is very, very sad.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
East Africa's Drought: A Catastrophe is Looming
Governments are at their wits’ end to keep their hungry people alive: