United Nations: The United Nations humanitarians informed that more than 11 million people are suffering from the ravages of drought in the Horn of Africa, IANS reports.
"More than 7.2 million people need food assistance, and 4 million people need water assistance," said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"At least 286,000 people in Ethiopia have migrated in search of water, pasture, or assistance. These are people with the means to travel. Others, often the elderly or the sick, have had to stay behind," it added.
OCHA said that a shortage of pasture and water had killed at least 1.5 million heads of livestock, while 10 million more are at risk. Many of the living livestock are weak and provide little or no milk, which ultimately undermines children's nutrition.
Further, the severe drought with three successive failed rainy seasons has affected the schooling of 5,00,000 children. OCHA informed that it is increasing its humanitarian support to the Ethiopian government.
So far, OCHA has supplied food for 4.9 million people and treated and vaccinated more than 2 million heads of livestock and water for 3.3 million people. In an effort to bring the world's attention to the crisis, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of OCHA, Martin Griffiths, is visiting the area- including Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
His office informed that it had released USD 12 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to back the humanitarian action here, while Ethiopia's humanitarian fund allocated USD 17 million for the crisis. But OCHA said that additional funding is needed urgently since USD 480 million is required to respond through October.