Guterres pledges 7B to prevent catastrophe in the Horn of Africa


Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau

UNITED NATIONS, 25th May. UN head António Guterres on Wednesday pledged to raise $7 billion for  Horn of Africa at the meeting held in New York said “crisis atop of crisis” threatening millions in the Horn of Africa, the international community cannot afford to stand idly.

He noted over 43 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia continue to suffer through one of the worst droughts in recent history, caused by five consecutive seasons of poor rains.

He said years of conflict and insecurity have sparked mass displacement, while sky rocketing food prices and most recently, the fighting in Sudan, have compounded the situation.

We must act now to prevent crisis from turning into catastrophe,” Mr. Guterres said. “Let us act together now – with greater urgency and far greater support.”

The pledging event was convened by the UN, Italy, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States, in collaboration with the three affected countries.

Mr. Guterres said he saw the devastating impact of the drought first-hand during recent visits to Kenya and Somalia.

“In parts of northern Kenya, parched landscapes and perished livestock have driven families from their homes in search of water, food, and incomes,” he said.

He stressed that he met communities who lost their livelihoods to drought and insecurity, as the battle against Al-Shabaab militants continues.

I was deeply moved by their struggles.  And I was inspired by their resilience, courage, and determination to rebuild their lives. But they cannot do it alone,” he said.

He assured that “action will make all the difference.”  Last year, donors delivered life-saving assistance to 20 million people and helped avert a famine.

He called for increased support for humanitarian plans for the region which are currently less than 20 per cent funded.

This is “unacceptable”, he said,.

He warned that without an immediate financial injection, “emergency operations will grind to a halt, and people will die.”

Guterres said the drought in Somalia last year claimed 40,000 lives, and half were children under five, according to the WHO and UNICEF.

“People in the Horn of Africa are paying an unconscionable price for a climate crisis they did nothing to cause,” he said.

“We owe them solidarity. We owe them assistance. And we owe them a measure of hope for the future.  This means immediate action to secure their survival.  And it means sustained action to help communities across the Horn adapt and build resilience to climate change,” he added.

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