UN launches urgent appeal to save millions from famine in Horn of Africa

June 28, 2011. These are images from the Horn of Africa, where a drought has driven thousands from their homes in search of food and water. The drought is so wide spread that it has forced some to walk for months. Many of whom left Somalia to seek shelter in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

An emergency meeting of European leaders was called to address the food crisis that has been caused by drought, armed conflict and high food prices.

The meeting was attended by leaders from NGO's, government representatives, as well as Jacques Diouf, the leader of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme executive director Josette Sheeran.

Sheeran recently made a trip to the refugee camps in Somalia to see the situation first hand.

Josette Sheeran
Executive Director, WFP

“People come here, some of them haven't eaten in days or weeks. Some of the children are very weak. We'll be airlifting in supplies here, we'll be working with local authorities here to set up the operations to register people and especially screen the very young children who need nutritional support very quickly.”

The WFP estimates that they are currently feeding 6 million people in the areas effected by the drought but they say that could rise to 10 million in the coming months.

They are asking donors for 1.6 billion dollars in the next 12 months. Without which, officials have warned this famine could become the “scandal of the century”.

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