"Aid agencies have launched multimillion-pound appeals to address a mounting humanitarian emergency in east Africa, where severe drought and high food prices have left 10 million people requiring assistance.
Two successive failed rainy seasons in 12 months have led to the driest year since 1951 in some pastoralist regions of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda. Hunger levels have jumped sharply, with rates of severe malnutrition rising as high as five times the emergency threshold. The drought has also decimated livestock, while cereal prices have soared.
Oxfam launched its biggest ever appeal for Africa on Monday, seeking £50m to help three million people. Christian Aid has also launched an appeal, while Save the Children will do so on Tuesday. The British government announced on Sunday that it was giving £38m in emergency food aid to Ethiopia, following a warning from Josette Sheeran ,the World Food Programme executive director, that "desperate hunger" loomed across the Horn, "threatening the lives of millions"."
Xan Rice reports for the Guardian July 4, 2011.