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22:18, 20 August 2017 Sunday
15:35, 19 June 2017 Monday

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E.African hunger crisis preventable: Red Cross/Crescent
E.African hunger crisis preventable: Red Cross/Crescent

It is inexcusable to say in the 21st century that Africa is surprised by drought, says Red Cross/Red Crescent official

World Bulletin / News Desk

Millions of people in East Africa are facing starvation due to a drought that has hit the region causing famine in some areas, malnutrition, displacement and the spread of communicable diseases, but could this have been prevented?

In a new opinion piece released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) regional offices based in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, the group’s regional director for Africa, argues that East African countries could have easily prevented crises by learning from past mistakes.

He says that countries such as Ethiopia alone have at least 7 million people who are dependent on food aid which is fast running out, adding that poor governance and planning are among the main reasons why crises in East Africa are repeating themselves as the underlying causes are rarely addressed.

In 1974 a global conference resolved that in a decade no child would go hungry, but “exactly a decade later, almost one million Ethiopians died in one of the worst famines in recent history,” Fatoumata argued.

“This was not the last one. Famines have been recurring, and they will return, unless public authorities, the donor community, United Nations agencies, regional bodies and national institutions genuinely refocus their efforts on dealing with the underlying causes,” he added.



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