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Helen Clark on the Horn of Africa situation


Around ten million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Uganda are in need of humanitarian assistance as they're suffering from the effects of the worst drought in 60 years. "The biggest concern right now is that people are dying because of the drought," said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. "Particularly those who are having to leave their land and homes and walk long distances in a weakened condition to try to find food and water." Somalia is worst hit in the drought. It's estimated that one quarter of Somalia's 7.5 million people are now either internally displaced or have trekked to neighboring Ethiopia or Kenya where they are living as refugees. "We need to scale up from helping tens and hundreds to helping thousands and thousands of people," added Ms. Clark. "We're absolutely confident that there can be drought resistant agriculture in smallholder farms but, unfortunately, because there hasn't been sufficient support for this kind of long term development, these crises keep coming, weaken communities' resilience and take lives." The United Nations is focusing on scaling up relief delivery in the regions affected by the drought; on improving security there to so that the affected areas are accessible to aid workers; and on mobilizing the funds and resources necessary to meet urgent needs of the people suffering from the drought.

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