Bellamy calls for more aid
When humanitarian organizations make aid appeals for drought-stricken
areas, the reflexive action is to provide food. For where there's drought,
starvation is often only a failed harvest away.
We are currently in the midst of a major United Nations appeal for
$386 million to East Africa, where more than 13 million are at risk
from an extended drought. After only two weeks, pledges from major international
donors -- mostly national governments -- covered nearly half that amount.
Most of the aid is food, which obviously this is essential to relieve
hunger. But populations teetering on the edge of famine need a complete
package of aid
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy speaks with
a woman holding her malnourished infant on 15 June in a UNICEF-assisted
supplementary feeding centre in the Ethiopian town of Gode, 500 km south
of Addis Ababa, the capital.
A major reason UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy visited the
Horn of Africa from 15-20 June was to stress the need for immediate
and comprehensive aid to save people's lives. "I must point out that
while food is necessary, it is by no means sufficient alone. Malnourished
children need supplemental feeding and special attention. Immunizations
are required against diseases. Sanitation and clean water prevent the
spread of disease to begin with," she said upon the conclusion of her
Noting that the recent cessation of hostilities between Ethiopia and
Eritrea allows for more vigorous relief efforts, Ms. Bellamy particularly
stressed the grave situation in Eritrea. Due to the war and drought,
nearly one-half of its entire population is displaced.
Across the region, the situation for children, the weakest part of
the population, is the most pressing. As the crisis continues, they
will become even more susceptible to malnutrition, disease and even
death. To help them, and as part of the broader UN appeal, UNICEF is
asking for $30 million for health, nutrition, water and sanitation,
Ms. Bellamy says that, overall, a good relief system is in place throughout
the region. Now it must be reinforced with renewed resources and action
to ensure the survival of the afflicted populations.
In addition to Ethiopia and Eritrea, Ms. Bellamy visited Djibouti,
Kenya and Somalia.
emergency appeal for the Horn of Africa
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