“Two million children at risk of hunger in Horn of Africa”

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UN Secretary-General Martin Griffiths said Tuesday that nearly two million children are at risk of starvation as the Horn of Africa faces its worst drought in decades. Kenya, Ethiopia and parts of Somalia are suffering the driest conditions in more than 40 years as aid agencies try to avoid a repeat of a decade-old famine that killed hundreds of thousands of people. At a closed-door pledge meeting in Geneva, Griffiths said the organization has only a fraction of the funding it needs to respond to the drought. He later said on Twitter that he had pledged almost the entire dollar budget amount, thanking them for their generosity.

More than 15 million people are already suffering from hunger in the region, and pastoralists have lost about 3 million animals to drought, he added in the same speech. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading climate science body, said heatwaves, droughts and extreme rainfall will become more frequent in the coming decades as temperatures continue to rise.

He has previously acknowledged that the Ukraine conflict risks diverting world attention and finances. The European Union, which co-hosted the event, announced €633 million ($674.4 million) to improve food security in the region, while Canada contributed $73 million, according to a statement sent to Reuters announced the offer. His fourth rainy season in the region is likely to fail, Griffith said, leading to “one of the worst climate-related emergencies in history”.

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