The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has called on the international community to step in and help bring succor to millions of people suffering from severe food shortages amidst a worsening drought.
The USAID’s administrator, Samantha Power, while promising continued support from the United States, noted that other countries must step in and support bringing relief to the suffering. “All of their livestock has been wiped out, decimated by this drought. So we are talking about the massive loss of livelihood and the risk of the massive loss of life”, Power said, after her visit to Turkana, northwest Kenya on Saturday.
A dire situation
The drought is the worst in more than four decades in the region and is showing no sign of improvement. International agencies including the World Food Programme and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have warned that about 50 million people in the Horn of Africa – Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan – could face acute food insecurity this year unless urgent and adequate food aid is supplied.
The USAID is said to have made a $200m (£167m) investment in therapeutic supplements for Kenya, where a million children are malnourished, but Power insists more is needed to prevent a hunger catastrophe.