UN warns world on Africa drought

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UN warns world on Africa drought

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The world is in danger of allowing a drought in East Africa to become a humanitarian catastrophe, the UN warns.

The UN special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Kjell Bondevik, says a disaster can be avoided if funding comes "in a matter of weeks... not months".

Around 11 million people are in serious danger in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti, the UN estimates.

The World Food Programme, leading the aid effort, says it has only a third of what it needs to close the shortfall.

Donors had committed just $186m (106m) of the $574m (327m) needed, the WFP says.

"I urge donors countries to pledge more and pay. Not only to pledge, but to pay," Mr Bondevik said on a tour to see first-hand the situation in Kenya.

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By YCON: posted on 26-2-2006

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