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.
Catalonia police spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero added that a driver who mowed down crowds of pedestrians in the first attack in a busy Barcelona street Thursday could be among five suspects later shot dead in a nearby city.
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For his part, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told RTL radio that "the number of those who have been seriously injured may perhaps be even higher at around 17."
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The pickup truck, which had an improvised white wooden trailer constructed over the back, was transporting them in "overcrowded and unsanitary conditions," said a state police report seen by AFP.
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a driver deliberately slammed his vehicle into crowds on Barcelona's most popular street -- Las Ramblas -- in what police qualified as a "terror attack."
The van attack that mowed down pedestrians on Barcelona's most famous street on Thursday killing at least 13 people was the latest fatal assault on a European city.
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