THE United Nations and East Africa's regional community on Monday, appealed to the international community to move swiftly and avert a looming humanitarian disaster in the Horn of Africa region.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-Wha Kang, and Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), made the appeal in a joint statement issued in Nairobi.
The statement said that the appeal was for the purpose of raising fund to help 14 million people who were food insecure in the region.
``Displacement in Horn of Africa stand at an estimated 6.8 million people and 14 million people are food insecure, yet funding has remained at half of the appeal,” Kang said.
The move came after UN agencies called for more donor support to help scale up humanitarian assistance in Somalia.
According to a latest food security report, released earlier in September, over 1 million people in Somalia face acute food insecurity and 218,000 children under the age of 5, are acutely malnourished.
The joint assessment by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) and other partners, warned that the situation is likely to deteriorate further until October.
The statement also said out of the 933 million dollar appeal, less than one third had been raised.
Both IGAD and the UN are urging the donor community and governments of the region to urgently scale up response to avert a humanitarian disaster.
According to IGAD fact-finding mission reports, 7 million out of 12.9 million people in South Sudan, are food insecure.
``3.9 million are severely food insecure, with 1.2 million already at the risk of famine, if violence continues, and 50,000 children are at a risk of dying from starvation,” it stated.
It added that food shortage in Somalia and South Sudan, as a result of drought, violence and conflict, has had serious consequences on food and nutrition. (Xinhua/NAN)