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Over 13 mln people food insecure in East Africa

01 May 2015, 10:07

Nairobi - The number of food insecure people in the Eastern Africa region has increased from 11.43 million people to 13.73 million people as of March, UN humanitarian agency said Thursday.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Eastern Africa said in its latest report released in Nairobi that conflict and unfavourable climatic conditions remain the main drivers of food insecurity and displacement in the region.

"Despite growing humanitarian needs, funding levels have not significantly increased since April 2014 and humanitarian country teams in the region are facing immediate funding gaps in critical sectors," said the report.

According to Eastern Africa Humanitarian Bulletin for March, food security is expected to deepen for many vulnerable households as the lean period starts by the end of April and May.

Read Also: Over 1 million Kenyans facing starvation

The UN agency said malnutrition levels are expected to worsen after May and are already above critical thresholds in parts of northern Kenya, eastern and southern Ethiopia, rural Djibouti, and south-central Somalia.

"As of April, humanitarian appeals (Sudan, Somalia, and South Sudan) stood at 19 percent funded, less than the 22 percent funded of the same appeals in April 2014," it said.

OCHA also said an estimated number of displaced people in the region stood at 8.99 million people, of whom 2.37 million are refugees while 6.62 million are internally displaced persons and people severely affected by conflict.

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