UN: £220m more needed to help those on Kenya's 'roads of death'

 

An extra $360m (£220m) is urgently needed to tackle the food crisis in Somalia and across east Africa, the World Food Programme said yesterday, as aid agencies dubbed the routes to Kenya's refugee camps "roads of death" thanks to the numbers dying on the way.

Josette Sheeran, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, said at an emergency UN summit in Rome that a fatal combination of natural disaster and regional conflict had created an emergency affecting more than 12 million people, causing food distribution services to be "completely overwhelmed". "We want to make sure the supplies are there along the road because some of them are becoming roads of death where mothers are having to abandon their children who are too weak to make it or who have died along the way," she said.

The World Bank announced ahead of the meeting that it was providing more than $500m to assist drought victims, in addition to $12m in immediate aid to help those worst hit. But Oxfam said that overall another $1bn was needed to handle the situation. Tomorrow there will be a donor pledging conference in Nairobi that hopes to raise up to $1.6bn to tackle the food crisis.

At a stabilisation centre for malnourished children in Ifo I, one of three refugee camps in Dadaab, northern Kenya, the strain on services is all too visible. Alongside the screening tents is a cramped feeding room made from breeze blocks. In here some 60 tiny children and their mothers struggle for space on the floor surrounded by flies. Moor Habibo Mohammed, 26, is crouched over her 18-month-old son Abdi Kadir Mohammed, helping him to eat from a foil pouch of the fortified food called plumpy'nut. He coughs as he struggles to swallow and she rushes to grab a mug of water. The mug is bigger than his entire emaciated torso.

The number of severely malnourished children in the refugee camp has reached a critical level. A survey by Unicef showed that 30 per cent of under-fives living in Ifo I were suffering from malnutrition. Of these, 6.9 per cent had severe acute malnutrition.

Patrick Codja, a nutrition specialist for Unicef, said: "There's an urgent need to increase treatment capacity. Everything is up: the caseload has increased, the treatment has increased and infant mortality has increased."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL)

£30 - 40k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / ...

Recruitment Genius: ICT Operations Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is the single governing and regul...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufa...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935