聯合國兒童基金會估計「非洲之角」大旱逾200萬兒童受災 緊急呼籲善款港幣2.5億元

 

聯合國兒童基金會估計「非洲之角」大旱逾200萬兒童受災 緊急呼籲善款港幣2.5億元

新聞稿 12:00
Somali children and adults wait to register for aid in the Ifo refugee camp in North Eastern Province, near the Kenya-Somalia border. The camp is among three that comprise the Dadaab camps, located near of the town of Dadaab in Garissa District.

In early July 2011, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are the three Horn of Africa countries most affected by a deepening drought, rising food prices and the persistent conflict in Somalia. More than 10 million people, including in neighbouring Djibouti and Uganda, are now threatened by the worst drought in the region in 60 years. Somalia faces one of the most-severe food security crises in the world as it continues to endure an extended humanitarian emergency, with tens of thousands fleeing into Kenya and Ethiopia. More than 10,000 Somalis a week are now arriving in the Dadaab camps in eastern Kenya, where aid partners struggle to meet the needs of some 360,000 people, in facilities meant for 90,000. An estimated 480,000 severely malnourished children are at risk of dying in drought-affected areas of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti; while a further 1.6 million moderately malnourished children and the wider-affected population are at high risk of disease. In northern Kenya, more than 25 per cent of children suffer from global acute malnutrition  in the Turkana district the rate is at 37.4 per cent, its highest ever. UNICEF, together with Governments, UN, NGO and community partners, is supporting a range of interventions and essential services, especially for the displaced and for refugees, including feeding programmes, immunization campaigns, health outreach, and access to safe water and to improve sanitation. UNICEF is seeking US $31.8 million for the next three months to provide humanitarian assistance for children and women in the four most-affected countries.
香港,2011年7月11日——「非洲之角」旱情嚴峻,聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)估計逾200萬名兒童營養不良,半數生命垂危,可能對他們的身心發展造成持久傷害,緊急救援行動迫在眉睫。UNICEF現正向各界呼籲善款港幣2.5億元,以拯救數以百萬計受災兒童和婦女的生命。

位處非洲東部的「非洲之角」長年旱災,是次大旱更是60年一遇的。肯尼亞、索馬里、埃塞俄比亞及吉布提為受災最嚴重的國家,肯尼亞北部的急性營養不良率已超越25%,而圖爾卡納地區更高近40%。聯合國兒童基金會估計急需人道救援的災民足達1,000萬名。

當地居民原本已飽受着長期嚴重缺水缺糧的煎熬,如今糧價急漲及持續大旱,更令居民的生活雪上加霜。聯合國兒童基金會及鄰近國家的人道救援組織,已合力設置了緊急糧食中心,接濟上千個越過索馬里邊境而來的家庭。然而,求助的難民數目正不斷遞升,平均每星期新湧至索馬里及肯尼亞交界的達達阿比難民營的難民有達1萬名。

災區兒童飽受旱災折磨,卻又無力抵抗疾病威脅。UNICEF為幫助受災兒童,已隨即展開了大規模防疫注射行動,亦將與當地政府部門、非牟利組織以及各聯合國組織合作,提供食水、糧食及衞生等最重要的緊急援助,以遏止情況進一步惡化。不過,由於資金不足,以及部分地區拒絕接受外界援助,大大窒礙了這些救援服務的推進。

「UNICEF現正呼籲善款3,190萬美元,即港幣約2.5億元,以支援本會未來3個月在『非洲之角』的救援行動。」聯合國兒童基金香港委員會總幹事陳文端女士表示,「這筆資金能夠為嚴重急性營養不良的兒童提供及時治療、為災區運送及提供清潔食水、為災民接種可防止多種致命疾病的疫苗,並為受災兒童及時恢復教育。捐款者的每一分每一毫,對受災兒童和婦女的生存攸關重」。

(籌得之善款若多於「非洲之角」賑災所需,剩餘善款將撥作支持聯合國兒童基金會其他緊急救援項目)