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More Than 10M People Affected By Drought In East Africa, U.N. Says

More than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa “are affected by the drought in one way or other,” Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports.

“We believe that the drought situation in certain regions is the worst in 60 years,” Byrs said. “In some areas the situation is close to that of famine. We are at the emergency stage which precedes that of famine. But the situation can still evolve,” she added. According to the U.N., drought-related displacement and refugee flows are increasing (Neo, 6/28). “Byrs told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that some 3.2 million people each in Kenya and Ethiopia, 2.6 million in Somalia and 117,000 in Djibouti need aid,” the Associated Press reports. “Byrs says child malnutrition rates have reached emergency levels of 15 percent in some areas. Lack of food has contributed to a surge in people leaving war-torn Somalia for neighboring Kenya in search of help in recent weeks” (6/28).