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Millions At Risk Of Malnutrition As Horn Of Africa, Sahel Face Dry Seasons

Only weeks after the U.N. declared an end to the famine in Somalia, regional climate scientists meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, at the 30th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum have said preventive measures should be taken to stem the effects of drought that likely will return to Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa over the next three months, IRIN reports. USAID’s “FEWS NET said people should expect erratic rain in southern Somalia and southeastern Kenya” and will “be releasing a detailed outlook in the coming weeks,” the news service notes. But “[o]ne of the problems highlighted was the lack of linkage between early warning and early action. ‘There is no framework that allows the trigger of funds when the early warning bell is sounded,’ said one aid worker,” IRIN writes (2/29).

Meanwhile, in Africa’s Sahel, “[a]bout a million malnourished children … are expected to need emergency aid this year,” the Globe and Mail reports in an article examining efforts to help the people of the region “understand the basics of nutrition and health — and to get rid of the superstitions that have hindered them for decades.” The education campaign, “led by groups such as Save the Children and ACDI/VOCA, emphasizes the art of negotiation and persuasion in educating villagers in small groups, with witnesses testifying about the health benefits in their own families, and with progressive grandmothers put forward as role models,” according to the newspaper (York, 2/29). 

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.