Jun 29

Worst drought in 60 years hitting Horn of Africa: U.N. (Reuters, June 28, 2011)

GENEVA (Reuters) – The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said.

“Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones,” Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a media briefing.

“There is no likelihood of improvement (in the situation)until 2012,” she said.

Food prices have risen substantially in the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge, she said.

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