United Nations launches appeal for aid to Djibouti

08:02, November 04, 2010      

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The United Nations on Wednesday launched an appeal for 39 million U.S. dollars to assist 120,000 people affected by the protracted drought in Djibouti since 2005.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, "The appeal will help provide vital humanitarian assistance to 120,000 people affected by the protracted drought that has plagued the East African country since 2005."

The drought has caused the death of some 70 percent of cattle and destroyed the crops of many smallholder farmers in Djibouti.

Bad harvests and skyrocketing food prices have contributed to malnutrition in Djibouti. Approximately 25,000 children under the age of five are currently suffering from acute malnutrition in the country.

The U.N. appeal will help with critical humanitarian needs like providing food, water, sanitation, and basic healthcare as well as longer term needs like agricultural recovery and bolstering Djibouti's ability to respond to future emergencies.

Valerie Amos, U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said that, in order to prevent future crises, changes in Djibouti must extend beyond immediate relief measures.

"While this appeal will help meet immediate humanitarian needs, like food and nutrition, it is important that we also address the root causes of recurrent food crises and improve the country's capacity to respond to these emergencies," OCHA said.

Source: Xinhua


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