NAIROBI, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Oxfam, an international charity organization, has urged for more funding to support the humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa as the donations gathered at a United Nations meeting in New York fell short of what participants were seeking.
"Oxfam is deeply disappointed by Wednesday's donors' dismally inadequate pledges to East Africa's crisis; a protracted crisis which continues to be woefully underfunded," Fati N'Zi Hassane, Africa director of Oxfam, said in a statement issued in Nairobi, capital of Kenya on Wednesday evening.
The UN received pledges of 2.4 billion U.S. dollars on Wednesday to help fund aid operations for people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, at a high-level event held in New York. However, the humanitarian community requires 7 billion dollars for humanitarian response and protection for drought- and conflict-affected people in the region in 2023.
The funds will allow humanitarian agencies to sustain aid pipelines of food, water, health care, nutrition and protection services. "This was a vital moment for rich donors to step up and show their commitment to saving lives. They have failed millions of people caught up in this vicious spiral of hunger, displacement, and insecurity," Hassane said.
The pledging conference was held as improved rains are starting to ease the impacts of the drought, but they also bring new risks and challenges.
According to the UN, floods have already caused widespread damage and affected at least 900,000 people. More flooding is expected later this year, partly due to the forecasted El Nino phenomenon, potentially leading to further displacement, death and disease, the UN said.
"We cannot continue drip-feeding aid to keep the worst of the crisis at bay while each day millions are being pushed further to starvation. The failure to act decisively now is perpetuating a deadly cycle of hunger and destitution," Hassane said.
She noted that what East Africa urgently needs is a drastic global collective effort not only to save lives now but to scale up programs that help people become more resilient to shocks like climate change and food price inflation. ■