ONE year after famine was declared in the Horn of Africa, more
than nine million people are still in need of humanitarian
assistance, the UN has said.
And a new report on the aid system says that it is struggling to
respond and adapt in a world affected by economic instability,
conflict, and natural disasters.
The Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2012 said
that the slow response to events in the Horn of Africa demonstrated
the inability, or unpreparedness, of the international
response-system to heed early warnings. In Somalia, the
worst-affected country in the region, only 28 per cent of the UN
funding appeal requirements had been met by June 2011, just weeks
before famine was declared.
The report, by Development Initiatives, says that the needs of
larger disasters have been met at the expense of smaller, less
high-profile crises. Two recipients - Haiti and Pakistan - received
42 per cent of the total, while all other recipients saw a
reduction in their share.
The report also found that only four per cent of official aid
was spent on disaster prevention and preparedness between 2006 and
Mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia remain among the
highest in the world, and about 2.5 million Somalis survive on
"In 2011, the world didn't act until famine was declared, and
the delay cost lives and money," the country director for Oxfam,
Senait Gebregziabher, said. "Now, with the warning signs of a
worsening crisis, lessons from last year must be learned."
The report can be downloaded at:
Support for Malawi.
Aid payments to Malawi, which were suspended in July last year,
should be reinstated, MPs on the International Development
Committee have said.
Direct funds to the Malawi exchequer - known as general budget
support - were stopped over concerns about mismanagement and
In a report released on Tuesday, the committee said that since
President Joyce Banda came to power, in April last year, many of
her predecessor's policies had been reversed. The Liberal Democrat
MP Malcolm Bruce, who chairs the cross-party body, said: "Malawi
has seen dramatic changes over recent months. . . If this progress
is maintained, general budget support will be the most efficient