東非飢民 需要更多援助 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

東非飢民 需要更多援助

2011年08月18日
摘譯自2011年8月12日ENS美國,華盛頓特區報導;段譽豪編譯;蔡麗伶審校

難民們在肯亞達達布(Dadaab)的 Dagahaley 難民營外的烈日下等候登記,準備接受第一批補給品。圖片來自:美國白宮/ David Lienemann攝影。非洲之角四國:吉布地、衣索比亞、肯亞和索馬利亞的1240萬人正面臨乾旱帶來的嚴重糧食與用水短缺,需要國際緊急援助。該地區正面臨60年來最嚴重的旱災。

聯合國難民署12日表示,越來越多索馬里人(Somalis)持續離開家園湧入肯亞,逃離乾旱、飢荒以及衝突,現在亟需超過45000頂帳棚應急。

聯合國難民署(UNHCR)發言人Adrian Edwards在日內瓦的記者會上表示,「除了食物與用水,這些新抵達的難民迫切需要適當的住所、醫療協助以及其他基本的協助。」

至少370萬,也就是將近半數的索馬里人正面對飢荒的威脅,已經有數萬人因而喪生。

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。」

希拉蕊表示,「我們的援助資源已經送達460萬人手中。用來分發食物、為嚴重營養不良的人提供食療、對需要的人提供乾淨的水、醫療照顧、環境衛生、保護以及其他需要。」「我可以說,非常感謝救援隊伍,在通常很困難以及危險的情況下,迅速有效的提供援助。」

摩加迪沙市中心巴卡拉市場的冷清街道上,孤立著在戰鬥中受損的建築物與商店,這裡先前是青年黨(al-Shabaab)的據點。圖片來自:聯合國 / Stuart Price攝影。希拉蕊說,恐怖組織青年黨(al-Shabaab)阻撓人道援助進入,「威脅並殺害人道工作人員,另外有可信的報導指出,青年黨阻止絕望的索馬里人離開其控制區。」

不過仍有數十萬的索馬里人,大部分是婦女和兒童,穿越衣索比亞、肯亞以及吉布地邊境逃到北部,使這些國家的壓力上升。

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。

在青年黨撤退之後,數千名支持索馬里過渡聯邦政府的布隆迪和烏干達的非洲聯盟部隊,已經控制了90%的城市。

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。

2011年8月10日,一個營養不良且脫水的嬰兒,在摩加迪沙的Banadir 醫院中,由醫生施以點滴增加液體吸收時哭泣。圖片來自:聯合國 / Stuart Price攝影。Biden與Frist 12日投書今日美國(USA Today)中寫道,「我們見到了婦女與兒童,赤腳徒步行走幾個星期,絕望的尋找食物與醫療資源,而身上除了衣服外什麼都沒有。也聽到關於一個母親因為太虛弱,無法同時帶著兩個孩子,而作出必須在路上放棄一個孩子來救另一個的痛苦故事。」

他們寫道,「我們遇到一些家庭,因為太晚抵達,而讓他們的孩子成為冰冷的死亡統計數字,單單過去三個月,就有29000名不到五歲的兒童因為飢餓而死亡。」

Shah 說,「達達布現在是肯亞第四大城,擁有超過37萬的居民,他們逃離家園,有些人步行數百英里,只為了自己與孩子尋找食物、水源與醫療照顧。」

Shah說,多年來美國一直與衣索比亞政府合作進行安全網計畫,改善了許多對無力抵抗乾旱地區的食物安全。

「即使在這個破紀錄的乾旱中,由於長期來的努力,現在有830萬人受益於這項計畫而不需要緊急援助。」他說。

訪問期間,Biden 博士參觀了在奈諾比的肯尼亞農業研究所,這裡曾接受USAID的資金開發耐旱作物以及改善耕作方法,以提高產量。

聯合國難名署官員表示,三架中的第二架人道救援班機在11日降落在摩加迪沙機場,帶來的32噸的組合屋以及其他援助物資。

聯合國在七月宣布,包括摩加迪沙索的馬利亞南部五個區域為飢荒地區。

聯合國機構正在加緊努力,對抗流離失所來到首都摩加迪沙的索馬里人群中的霍亂疫情。聯合國世界衛生組織說,今年摩加迪沙一所醫院有181人疑似死於霍亂,全國各地也發生了幾起確認的霍亂疫情。

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。」

聯合國秘書長潘基文11日與愛爾蘭搖滾歌星Bono討論了動員國際資源對抗非洲之角飢荒問題的需要,Bono是合一運動(Campaign ONE)的領導者,主要工作是打擊是上最貧窮地區的赤貧問題以及疾病的預防。

在電話交談中,他們討論了激勵投資力度的需要,提高人道工作者提供援助的管道,並同意支持索馬利亞政治對話的重要性。

希拉蕊說,「我們確實有訣竅、工具與資源,」「而且對那些全球數百萬脆弱的生命而言,我們對終結其長期食物短缺與營養缺乏問題的決心越來越強。」

Aid Reaches Thirsty, Starving East African Refugees, More Needed
WASHINGTON, DC, August 12, 2011 (ENS)

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."