UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas spotlights Horn of Africa food crisis

05 Aug 2011

Geneva, New York – Film star and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas today launched a global appeal to assist more than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa left in need by famine, drought, conflict and high food prices.

“Today, across the Horn of Africa, people are dying from hunger, and hundreds of thousands have left their homes, walking for weeks in search of food,” Banderas said of the crisis unfolding in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

“To turn the tide, to offer hope in the name of our common humanity, we must mobilize worldwide.”

This past week the United Nations declared that famine – the worst stage of food insecurity - now exists in five areas in Somalia. The criteria include more than 30 percent of children being acutely malnourished, and four children out of every 10,000 dying daily.

 “The declaration of famine was not a decision taken lightly and demonstrates the severity and urgency of the crisis,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden.

On 29 July, the UN appealed for a further US$1.4 billion to bolster the ongoing response to the regional crisis, bringing the total funds required for the rest of the year to $2.48 billion.

“The United Nations is working to save lives and help people get back on their feet. But they need your support,” Banderas added. “By acting now, we can save lives.”

Banderas has been a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador since March 2010.

Contacts:

In Geneva: Aziyadé Poltier-Mutal; Mobile: +41793491610 Tel: + 41 229 178 368; email: aziyade.poltier@undp.org

In New York: Sandra Macharia; Tel +1 212 906 5377; email: sandra.macharia@undp.org

 

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Highlights of the crisis

An estimated quarter of the Somali population is now either displaced within the country or in neighbouring Ethiopia or Kenya.

 

Between July 15 and July 28, the total number in need of assistance rose by 1.6 million.

 

The number of people in acute livelihood crisis is expected to increase from 8.8 million in the coming months.

 

Message from Helen Clark
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