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Over 37 Million People Including Seven Million Children Suffer Acute Hunger in the Horn of Africa

The Horn Of Africa includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya; the seven countries all together referred to as the Horn of Africa harbours

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Mohammed Yakubu
Mohammed Yakubu
Mohammed Yakubu is an investigative journalist reporting on public health, human rights, climate change, education, gender issues, and much more.

AFRICA: More than 37 million people are facing acute hunger, with approximately seven million children under the age of five acutely malnourished in the region.  

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The Horn Of Africa includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya. The seven countries all together referred to as the Horn of Africa harbours an estimated seven million children under the age of five who are severely malnourished.

While finding food and safe water is the absolute priority, WHO said that ensuring a strong health emergency response is needed to avert preventable disease and deaths.  

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To tackle this head-on, WHO further sued for $123.7 million in humanitarian support aimed at preventing a food crisis that will incidentally snowball into a health crisis.

Finding food and safe water remains unnegotiable, the global organisation noted, adding that, “Ensuring a strong health emergency response is needed to avert preventable disease and deaths.”

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The Assistant Director-General for Emergencies Response,  Ibrahima Soce Fall, tweeted yesterday, “The situation is already catastrophic, and we need to act now. We cannot continue in this underfunding crisis.”

According to WHO, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, and increasing food prices jointly worsened droughts in the Horn of Africa. “There are now four seasons where the rain didn’t come as predicted and a fifth season is estimated to also fail.”

Sophie Maes, WHO Incident Manager said. “Places where there is drought the problem keeps worsening and worsening.In other places like South Sudan, there have been three years of consecutive flooding with almost 40 per cent of the country being flooded. And we are looking at something that is going to get worsen shortly.”

Meanwhile WHO stated, “Over 37 million people in the region are projected to reach the third level of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale (IPC3) and higher in the coming months.”

“Food insecurity in South Sudan has reached the most extreme levels since independence in 2011, with 8.3 million people comprising 75 per cent of the population facing severe food insecurity,” it stated.

According to the WHO, acute malnutrition leads to increased migration as populations move for food and pasture.And the disruption often leads to a deterioration in sanitation and hygiene, as outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera, measles and malaria are already on the rise.

In addition, poor vaccination coverage and under-resourced health services could see a large-scale increase in disease outbreaks within the country and beyond.Care for severely malnourished children with medical complications will be severely affected and result in high infant mortality.

Disruption of access to health care can further increase morbidity and mortality as emergency conditions force populations to change their health-seeking behaviour and prioritize access to life-saving resources such as food and water.

ALSO READ: “18 Million Sudanese to Experience Extreme Hunger by September,” World Bank 

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  • Mohammed Yakubu

    Mohammed Yakubu is an investigative journalist reporting on public health, human rights, climate change, education, gender issues, and much more.

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