Nearly 2 million children are at risk of starvation, according to UN assistance head Martin Griffiths, as the Horn of Africa suffers from one of its worst droughts in decades.
Parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia are experiencing the driest weather in over 40 years, and humanitarian groups are working to prevent a repeat of a famine that killed hundreds of thousands of people a decade ago.
Griffiths claimed the organization only has a fraction of the money it needs to respond to the drought during a closed-door donor conference in Geneva. However, contributors gave nearly the entire $1.4 billion budget amount at the same occasion, he stated later on Twitter, thanking them for their generosity.
“Let us not lose sight of the need to act,” he urged. He had already admitted that the Ukraine crisis has the potential to divert global attention and resources.
According to comments issued to the media, the European Union, which co-hosted the event, announced 633 million euros ($674.40 million) to strengthen food security in the region, and Canada announced $73 million in financing.
A fourth failed rainy season in the region is now a rising possibility, resulting in “one of the biggest climate-induced calamities in its history,” according to Griffiths.
More than 15 million people in the region are already hungry, and herders have lost 3 million livestock as a result of the drought, he said in the same speech.
Heatwaves, droughts, and extreme rainfall will become more common in coming decades, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s top climate scientific authority.