June 16, 2019
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Food insecurity affects 11.4 million people in East Africa

 A photograph made available on 27 March 2017 shows a young Internally Displaced Person (IDP) looking on from his family's makeshift shelter in an IDP camp in the outskirts of Qardho in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Somalia, 26 March 2017. EPA FILE/DAI KUROKAWA

A photograph made available on 27 March 2017 shows a young Internally Displaced Person (IDP) looking on from his family's makeshift shelter in an IDP camp in the outskirts of Qardho in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Somalia, 26 March 2017. EPA FILE/DAI KUROKAWA

Nairobi, Jun 8 (efe-epa).- A total of 11.4 million people are living with food insecurity and in need of urgent assistance in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda owing to a lack of rain in parts of the region, United Nations agencies warned Saturday in a report.

The amount of rain that fell in some areas of Africa was the lowest in almost 40 years.

While the figure, released as part of a joint report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF and the World Food Programme, was lower than the number of people who required assistance in the last drought in 2016-2017, the situation could worsen in Somalia, Kenya, northeastern Uganda and southeastern Ethiopia.

According to the UN agencies, the current rainy season, which should have started in April but was delayed by a month and a half in some cases, has seen the least amount of rain since 1981.

It is estimated that 785,000 children will be in need of treatment for acute malnutrition in these four countries throughout the course of 2019.

The UN agencies warned that if action is not taken on time there could be between 2.6 and 5.6 million people facing a food security crisis.

Furthermore, up to one million children aged under-5 will need treatment for acute malnutrition, according to the findings.

The Horn of Africa region saw its worst drought in recent years back in 2017.

Hunger grew in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting some 237 million people, or 20 percent of the population, according to the report released by the UN agencies.

The FAO said the increase hampered the global push to eradicate hunger, one of the sustainable development goals set by the international community for 2030. EFE

ime/sh

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