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People in the Greater Horn of Africa are Trapped in an Emergency Hunger and Health Crisis

Leading United Nations agencies warn that millions of people in the greater Horn of Africa are trapped in an emergency hunger and health crisis driven by overlapping disasters, including climate change and conflict. The World Food Program (WFP) reports that seven countries in the East Africa region —Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda — are experiencing unprecedented levels of food insecurity. WFP said that nearly 60 million people are not getting enough food to remain active and healthy, forcing families to sell their livestock and engage in negative coping strategies such as prostitution to survive. “If we do not get the necessary funding, people in Phase 4 and Phase 5 are at risk of dying. And that is what we are concerned about,” said Dominique Ferretti, senior emergency officer in WFP’s regional bureau in Nairobi, Kenya. According to the U.N.’s Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) scale for acute food insecurity, people in Phase 4 are facing extreme food shortages and risk hunger-related deaths. People in Phase 5 are starving and have reached the calamitous stage of famine.