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Updated 19 May 2000
Update: Drought and the spectre of famine
In a disaster of potentially massive consequences, tens of millions of people are at risk from persistent droughts in East Africa and South Asia. Across vast areas of both continents, crops have wasted away, wells are dry, livestock are dying and the land has become a desiccated sprawl of dust. Only large-scale relief efforts can prevent what could become wide scale starvation, disease and death.
People are on the move. From remote hamlets in the poorest parts of Ethiopia and Afghanistan, Kenya and Pakistan, uprooted families wander down roads in search of food and aid. The young children are the worst off. Small, weakened and in constant need of nourishment, they are almost always drought's first victims. Meeting food needs in this critical emergency is essential - but it is equally important to protect children from illness and to help develop safe, clean water supplies. Without improved water and health care networks, emergency food supplies will not fully protect the population in the long run. All are essential to saving the lives of children and women. These are the areas in which UNICEF is devoting its resources.
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