News in Brief 10 August 2017 (PM)

5.6 million more going hungry in Ethiopia so far this year

The number of people going hungry in Ethiopia has risen by 5.6 million so far this year due to poor rainfall, exacerbating severe drought conditions, the UN said on Thursday.

The whole East Africa region has been badly affected by three years of insufficient rainfall to grow crops and feed or raise livestock, such as cattle.

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance across East Africa has increased by about 30 per cent since late 2016, according to UN estimates.

The total for Ethiopia alone currently stands at 8.5 million people, and humanitarian actors are scaling up operations in support of government-led efforts to alleviate the crisis.

Cholera cases in Yemen rise to more than 480,000

The number of suspected and confirmed cases of cholera in the war-torn country of Yemen has surpassed the 480,000 mark, with nearly 2,000 deaths attributed to the disease and other diarrhoea-related illnesses.

That’s according to the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA.

The cholera epidemic, which the UN has described as part of an overall “man-made” crisis, brought on by more than two years of conflict, had been showing signs of levelling-off in the four most affected areas, said UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

“However, there are concerns the numbers could rise as Yemen heads into its rainy season while health workers have not been paid in nearly a year and some 8.8 million people are living in areas without enough health centres. The UN and its partners have set up more than 200 cholera treatment centres and more than 900 oral rehydration points. Regular UN-operated flights carrying supplies to address cholera between Djibouti and Sana’a began last week. We have received less than half of the US$254 million we need to respond to the cholera outbreak.”

WFP welcomes rice donation to aid 500,000 internally displaced in Nigeria

The World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a donation of 5,000 tonnes of rice to help feed nearly 500,000 internally-displaced people in the conflict-ravaged north east of Nigeria.

The donation came from Nigeria’s central government.

WFP also said on Thursday that the impact of drought was worsening in Kenya, with the number of people dependent on food aid rising from 2.6 million to 3.4 million; representing a 30 per cent increase this year.

Stephane Dujarric said that conditions were also getting worse for people living in rural areas of Mali.

“Some 3.8 million people (one-fifth of the population) are not sure where their next meal will come from. That’s 30 per cent more than during 2016’s lean season. WFP says it needs US$32 million until the end of the year and their operations are only half funded.”

Source: United Nations Radio