World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


On Eve of Conference, UN Calls for Donations

New York, Aug 24 2011 1:10PM
Senior United Nations officials are calling on countries, businesses and individuals to give generously to support efforts to tackle the food security crisis gripping the Horn of Africa, warning that the world cannot “afford to lose momentum” in the fight against famine, disease and starvation.

As the continent’s leaders prepare to gather in Addis Ababa tomorrow for a pledging conference hosted by the African Union, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said all segments of society – including governments, the public, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector – need to play their part in dealing with the crisis.

“We ask you, we ask everybody to make donations to multilateral efforts, pooled international funds, so that we can jointly identify where the needs are greatest and how that money should be spent,” Ms. Migiro told UN Radio ahead of the pledging conference, which she will address. “We also need your help in getting the access we need to allow us to save lives.”

Ms. Migiro noted that the international response to the crisis – which is affecting Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, but Somalia in particular – is accelerating, despite restrictions and security concerns in some parts of Somalia.

“In areas where Western and UN agencies have not been able to gain access, many Islamic organizations have arrived and are responding to the needs,” she said.

More than 12 million people across the region are estimated to need outside humanitarian assistance, and a state of famine has been formally declared in five regions of southern and central Somalia, including the area in and around the capital, Mogadishu.

Some 3.2 million Somalis are thought to be on the brink of starvation, and the UN and its aid partners say another billion dollars is needed to pay for humanitarian operations across the region.

“We cannot surely afford to lose momentum,” Ms. Migiro stressed, noting that famine could spread to other areas of Somalia within the next four to six weeks.

Kanayo Nwanze, the President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), issued a statement ahead of the pledging conference in which he emphasized that Africa itself must play a pre-eminent role in ending the crisis.

“I have said before that Africa should not wait for the international community to solve its problems,” he said. “Africa will conquer hunger when African governments give Africans the tools and resources they need to feed themselves. Change – real change – comes from within.”

Ms. Migiro, for her part, welcomed the efforts of the AU in staging the pledging conference.

“They have shown that they are ready and willing to come together during a moment of profound challenge and raise the resources needed to end the suffering,” she said.

Mohamadou Mansour N’Diaye, the chef de cabinet of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, described tomorrow’s meeting as a positive step and said that the Horn of Africa’s drylands can prosper, despite the current situation.

“It is not too late to act because we know and have the tools to better manage the drylands,” Mr. N’Diaye said. “The productivity and prosperity in other dryland parts of the world, such as the North American Great Plains, the Pampas of Argentina, and the wheat-belts of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, should put to rest the myth that the drylands are empty, barren places worth little.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Conflict, COVID, Climate Crisis, Likely To Fuel Acute Food Insecurity In 23 ‘Hunger Hotspots’

Life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine is being cut off in several countries by fighting and blockades, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a new report issued on Friday... More>>

Oxfam: Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost Of Vaccinating The World Against Covid At Least Five Times More Expensive Than It Could Be

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance said today...

Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>

Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>

UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>