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アフリカサミットでWFPが必死の呼びかけ − 食糧援助の拡大をしないと何百万人の命が奪われてしまう(英文のみ)



Khartoum - As Africa's leaders gather today for their AU summit, the United Nations World Food Programme is calling on the continent's leaders and international donors to boost their support for its efforts to tackle hunger and poverty in Africa before millions more lives are lost. Nearly US$2 billion in food aid will be required in 2006 to stave off widespread hunger and starvation.

"We're afraid that Africa's food crises are becoming accepted as ‘normal'. As this year gets underway, drought is threatening disaster in two vast regions -- the Horn and Southern Africa - posing huge challenges to our donors, who are still reeling from the competing emergencies of 2005, both in Africa and elsewhere," said James Morris, WFP Executive Director.

"Again and again food crises stare Africa in the face and we are ringing the alarm bell right now in the Horn of Africa," said Morris, who is making his fifth visit to southern Africa at the end of this month, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy.

"We had an incredibly challenging time raising resources for Africa in 2005. Even with record WFP food aid from our donors, we have lost so many children on the continent. African leaders and all our donors need a food first policy in 2006," Morris said.

Hunger is at its most destructive in Africa where one person in three is malnourished. And the situation is getting worse: the number of undernourished Africans rose by 33.1 million between 1992 and 2002. According to UNICEF, 38 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, and 28 percent are underweight. WFP is feeding twice as many Africans in crisis than a decade ago.

"These statistics do not augur well for Africa's future - and they cannot be ignored, especially since the world has produced enough food for everyone on the planet for decades," said Morris. "A combination of poverty, conflict, HIV/AIDS, drought and a weakened capacity for government has caused record levels of hunger stretching across the continent, from north to south and from west to east."

In 2006, WFP aims to provide food assistance to some 43 million people across Africa, with a price tag of over US$1.8 billion:
・refugees, returnees and internally displaced people
・children in schools and pre-schools
・malnourished women and children requiring therapeutic feeding
・children, pregnant and nursing mothers at risk of malnutrition
・communities in need of infrastructure and training
・families affected by HIV/AIDS

Of the 43 million Africans requiring food assistance, some 35 million are in need of emergency food aid. The highest numbers of needy to be targeted by WFP are some 18 million in 11 countries of East Africa, where an emerging food crisis caused by drought is threatening the lives of an estimated 5.4 million people across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti. In Southern Africa, where HIV/AIDS has hit hardest, WFP seeks to assist 9.2 million people in seven countries. And in West Africa, where war and poverty are the main scourges, WFP anticipates that at least 8.5 million people require urgent food aid in 14 countries across the Sahel region.

"While our donors have been exceptionally generous last year, providing us with some US$2 billion US dollars to run operations in 40 African countries - we were approximately US$550 million short of our requirements for last year," said Morris.

"Each region in Africa has its own problems and suffering - the need for humanitarian assistance is almost overwhelming. We need aid pledges now. As we've learned repeatedly in the past, delivering late costs far more than delivering now…and it costs lives." Morris concluded.