Friday, December 30, 2005

Warning sign

Millions at risk from East African famine

Millions of people are at risk of suffering the effects of famine as the dry season approaches in three East African countries, according to a humanitarian group.

In southeastern Ethiopia, at least one million people face pre-famine conditions, with reports of child deaths from hunger-related causes already coming in, said the U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

"Urgent responses are required to prevent an alarming escalation of a food insecurity crisis," said the emergency bulletin issued Thursday.

In January to March 2006, more than a million cattle herders in Ethiopia's southern region of Somalia could face serious shortages of water, pasture and food, the group's preliminary assessment suggests.

Poor rains, depleted pasture and water sources have led to the country's pre-famine conditions.

An estimated 1.2 million people in neighbouring northeast Kenya are also expected to face food shortages in the next two months, said John Munyes, minister of state for special programs.

Full article via the C.B.C..

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