美國國務卿希拉蕊(Hillary Rodham Clinton)11日在華盛頓對國際糧食政策研究所的聽眾表示，「發生在非洲之角的災害是全球最嚴重的人道緊急事件，也是東非幾十年來最嚴重的一次。」
四年來不斷對抗西方政府支持的索馬里總統Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed的青年黨，已經在8月6日撤出首都摩加迪沙。
美國副總統Joe Biden的夫人Dr. Jill Biden率團拜訪肯亞以吸引世人對此人道危機的關注。她所率領的代表團員包括醫生、美國田納西州共和黨前參議員Bill Frist、美國國際開發署(USAID)署長Raj Shah、助理國務卿Eric Schwartz以及總統特助Gayle Smith。
世界衛生組織發言人Tarek Jasarevic 12日在日內瓦對記者表示，「大部分的疫情已經受到控制，但報導指出，摩加迪沙的難民中霍亂病例正以驚人的速度擴散。」
Some 12.4 million people in the drought-hit Horn of Africa - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia - are facing severe food and water shortages and need international emergency assistance to survive. The region is facing the worst drought in 60 years.
The United Nations refugee agency said today it urgently needs 45,000 more tents as more Somalis continue to arrive in Kenya after fleeing drought, famine and conflict in their homeland.
"As well as needing food and water, these new arrivals urgently need proper shelter, medical help and other basic services," UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a news conference in Geneva.
At least 3.7 million people, nearly half the Somali population, are now directly at risk of famine and tens of thousands have already perished.
"What is happening in the Horn of Africa is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today, and the worst that East Africa has seen in several decades," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told an audience at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington Thursday.
"We are reaching more than 4.6 million people with this aid. It helps to pay for food distribution; for therapeutic feeding for those who are severely malnourished; for clean water, healthcare, sanitation, protection, and other services for those in need," Clinton said. "And let me say how grateful I am to the aid workers who are delivering this assistance, swiftly and effectively, in extremely difficult and often dangerous circumstances."
The terrorist group al-Shabaab has prevented humanitarian assistance from coming in, Clinton said. "It has killed and threatened aid workers. There are also credible reports that al-Shabaab is preventing desperate Somalis from leaving the areas under its control."
Still, hundreds of thousands of Somalis, largely women and children, are fleeing to the north - crossing the borders into Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti - straining the capacity of those countries.
Al-Shabaab, which has fought for four-years to remove the Western-backed government of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, withdrew its forces from the capital, Mogadishu, on August 6.
Thousands of Burundian and Ugandan African Union troops, which support the Somali Transitional Federal Government, now control over 90 percent of the city since al-Shabaab's retreat.
This week, Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, visited Kenya to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis. She led a delegation that included physician and former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican; U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Raj Shah; Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz; and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith.
"We met women and children who walked for weeks, often barefoot and with nothing but the clothes on their backs, desperate to find food and medical care. We heard the story of one mother who was too weak to carry both of her children, and made the wrenching choice to leave one behind on the road in hopes of saving the other," Biden and Frist wrote August 12 in "USA Today."
"We learned of families who had arrived too late whose children became part of a devastating statistic: in the past three months alone, 29,000 children younger than 5 have died of starvation," they wrote.
"Dadaab is now the fourth largest city in Kenya, home to more than 370,000 people who were in such a state of need that they fled their homes, many on foot, many from hundreds of miles away, just to find food, water, and health care for themselves and their children," said Shah.
For years, said Shah, the United States has been working with the Ethiopian government on a safety net program that has improved food security for many living in areas vulnerable to drought.
"Even in this record drought, due to that long-term effort, 8.3 million people that have benefited from this program today do not need emergency assistance," he said.
During her visit, Dr. Biden toured the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute in Nairobi, which receives USAID funding to help develop drought-resistant crops and improve farming methods to increase yields.
The second of three planned humanitarian flights landed at Mogadishu airport on Thursday, bringing a 32-ton consignment of shelter and other aid items, said the UN High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR.
In July, the United Nations declared a famine in five southern regions of Somalia, including Mogadishu.
UN agencies are stepping up efforts to respond to a cholera epidemic among the displaced Somalis who have arrived in the capital, Mogadishu. The UN World Health Organization said 181 people have died from suspected cholera cases in a single hospital in Mogadishu this year and there have been several other confirmed cholera outbreaks across the country.
"Most [outbreaks] have been declared under control, but alarming rates of confirmed cholera cases among internally displaced people have been reported in Mogadishu," WHO spokesperson Tarek Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva today.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday discussed the need to mobilize international resources to counter famine in the Horn of Africa with Irish rock star Bono, a leader of the multi-partner Campaign ONE, which fights extreme poverty and preventable diseases in the world's poorest places.
In a phone conversation, they discussed the need to galvanize fund-raising efforts and to improve access for humanitarian workers to deliver aid, and agreed on the importance of supporting political dialogue in Somalia.
"We do have the know-how. We have the tools. We have the resources," Clinton said. "And increasingly, we have the will to make chronic food shortages and under-nutrition a memory for the millions worldwide who are now vulnerable."