UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon told reporters here Tuesday that the humanitarian crisis caused by drought in the Horn of Africa requires urgent action."I am extremely worried by the situation in Horn of Africa," he said. "More than 11 million people need urgent assistance to stay alive, as they face their worst drought in decades."
The drought in the wider Horn of Africa has affected Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and parts of Uganda.
Ban said that he called an emergency meeting with the heads of UN agencies Tuesday morning to discuss what can be done about crisis. "UN agencies have asked for 1.6 billion U.S. dollars to pay for essential life-saving programs in the region, but have only received half that amount," he said. "We cannot afford to wait."
The secretary-general urged all member states to support the appeal for the Horn of Africa and stated that he will personally get in touch with them to ask for contributions of resources.
"Our priority is to stop the suffering now," he said. "But, looking ahead, we must do more to tackle the underlying fragility in this region." (Xinhua)