FAO seeks US$1 Billion to feed 40m hungry people

The Food and Agriculture Organisation has appealed for US$1 billion (Sh102 billion) to feed more than 40 million starving people in drought-stricken countries worldwide.

“Forecasts for 2017 are alarming as millions of people, many of them children, face the threat of starvation in countries like South Sudan, northern Nigeria, Madagascar and Yemen,” the UN-FAO appeal states.

“Drought is once again threatening herders across the Horn of Africa, further undermining livelihoods that have yet to recover from the last drought.” South Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia and Somalia are among 41 countries in dire need of food. Other African countries are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Libya, Mali and Niger.

Although Kenya is not in the list, it also suffers from drought and hunger due to poor rains in 2015-16. Last month, FAO warned of severe drought in Kenya from January to April as the country is yet to recover from the 2014 drought. FAO livestock expert Piers Simpkin said the drought will get worse in 23 Kenyan counties that exprienced drought last year.
The drought has affected 1.3 million people. “We are dealing with a cyclical phenomenon in Africa, but timely support to farming families can significantly boost their ability to withstand impacts of droughts and soften the blow to their livelihoods,” FAO director of Emergency and Rehabilitation Division Dominique Burgeon said.

FAO says Yemen is hard-hit with 14.1 million people being severely food insecure, followed by Afghanistan at 12 million and Syria at seven million. In Africa, countries that are severely affected by drought include the DRC with six million people facing starvation, five million people in Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Nigeria. There are four million starving citizens in Southern Sudan and Chad.

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