U.N. Fears the Worst for East Africa

U.N. Fears the Worst for East Africa

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been pledged to help the more than 12 million starving families.

Published September 3, 2011

A top U.N. official told the Associated Press that the famine in East Africa will worsen in the next coming months. He hopes aid will reach starving families before it does.

 

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres spoke from Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday, telling reporters that the crisis had not yet peaked. He added that rains will not come to the drought-stricken region until October, and even then it will take months before there is a harvest.

 

More than 12 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti need aid, according to the U.N. Somalia has been hardest hit.

 

Tens of thousands of refugees have fled Somalia’s famine for Kenya’s arid east. In recent weeks, some 1,500 refugees arrive each day at the overcrowded United Nations-run refugee camps. That flight has been met with mixed feelings from locals, who worry the influx will strain already strapped resources and increase competition for jobs.

 

Police say they have already called in more officers to help deal with clashes between locals and refugees.

 

African leaders have pledged nearly $380 million to help famine-hit families in the Horn of Africa, the Associated Press reports. African nations pledged an additional $28.8 million in food donations.

(Photo: John Moore/GettyImages)

Written by Britt Middleton

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