As thousands march for climate, drought ravages Africa
Published Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:00PM EDT
As thousands marched on Saturday to call attention to climate change, a humanitarian crisis linked to global warming continues to unfold in Africa and Yemen.
CTV’s Melanie Nagy recently travelled to Somalia, where more than 200,000 children are expected to suffer from severe malnutrition as a result of ongoing drought. Many could die.
The United Nations says 20 million people are at risk from the drought, which stretches thousands of kilometres, from Nigeria to Yemen, including parts of Somalia and South Sudan.
Droughts are not uncommon in the region but, in some parts of Africa, rainfalls have reached record lows.
Aid groups blame recent El Nino weather patterns for exacerbating the situation.
Melanie Gallant, from Oxfam Canada, expects climate-related crises like this to only increase in number.
“Unfortunately, it’s the poorest people in the most vulnerable areas that will pay the ultimate price,” she said.
While long-term drought resistance strategies are necessary, aid groups say emergency funding is the priority. The UN says US$4.4 billion is needed to prevent catastrophe. So far, less than 30 per cent of that has been received.
Manuel Fontaine, a director with UNICEF, says that an outbreak of cholera in Somalia is making things even worse.
“We really need to pull all our capacities and resources together to stop this,” he said.
With a report from CTV’s Melanie Nagy