Aid agencies call for more aid to tackle hunger in Africa

NAIROBI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 10 global aid agencies on Monday called on donors and governments to scale up aid for communities in need and invest in long-term solutions to tackle the root causes of hunger in East and Central Africa.

The agencies, including Save the Children, Oxfam International and the International Rescue Committee under the umbrella of the Interagency Working Group for East and Central Africa (the IAWG), said that nearly 90 million people across East and Central Africa are facing unprecedented levels of hunger.

"Many of these crises are increasingly forgotten, and most humanitarian appeals in the region remain underfunded, leaving millions of people to face destitution, or worse," said Peter Burgess, director of the IAWG, in a joint statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

This appeal coincides with the global food security summit that started in London, Britain, Monday, aiming to focus international attention on ending hunger and malnutrition.

According to the IAWG, years of below-average rainfall followed by intense, erratic rainfall and flooding have severely affected communities already grappling with the impacts of conflict and soaring global food prices. Many communities are reeling from one crisis to the next, with little respite.

After experiencing six consecutive failed rains, communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are now facing devastating floods, according to the IAWG.

The agencies emphasized that children under the age of five have been particularly affected by the current hunger crisis, facing unprecedented rates of acute malnutrition in the region.

"Despite the scale of needs, funding to tackle the growing hunger and malnutrition crisis has been insufficient in 2023 and is expected to decline further, with anticipated drops in humanitarian assistance budgets by up to 50 percent for 2024," the agencies said.

Furthermore, the agencies highlighted that more than 11.5 million children under the age of five across Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan are suffering from acute malnutrition in 2023, among whom 2.9 million will require treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

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