On June 13, 2011, the UN had already published a dispatch on its website, lamenting the lack of humanitarian aid, despite the UN’s call for action. It went on to quote a report by the OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, that only 671 million dollars had been collected by mid-June out of the 1,293 billion dollars needed by UN agencies in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, June 28, the spokesman for the OCHA, Elisabeth Byrs, stressed the urgent need for humanitarian aid, as 10 million people are potential victims. Pastoral areas are primarily affected.
The consequence of such a lack of rain puts the population at risk for a major food crisis, perhaps even the beginnings of famine, in “several areas near the coast of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia,” according to Ms. Byrs.
The drought that has continued for the past two years has severely affected crops, causing soaring grain prices and, consequently, a major deficit of food for livestock.
Children are most threatened by food shortages, “1 in 3 children in Somalia suffers from undernutrition“, according to Ms. Byrs.
Lack of necessary resources could make the situation even more drastic, especially for refugees. Among them are 20 000 Somalis who have arrived in the Dadaab refugee camp in north-western Kenya.