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WHO Foundation launches major fundraising appeal for drought crisis in Africa

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The WHO Foundation appeal is raising funds for WHO’s Health Emergency responses for the drought crises in Sahel and Horn of Africa. The two WHO appeals are in response to the extreme food shortages, insecurity, climate change, and lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in both areas.

Urgent support is needed with more than 60 million people in the Sahel and Horn of Africa struggling to get access to food and safe water. Outbreaks of infectious diseases are also a major concern in both regions.

The WHO Foundation appeal is calling on people around the world to raise $186.7mn (£162.4mn) to help give the millions of people affected access to the health services they need, now and in the long term.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti WHO Africa Regional Director said:

“The worsening humanitarian crises in the Sahel and across the Horn of Africa that have driven millions of people to extreme deprivation and to the brink of starvation require urgent action. However, humanitarian assistance, including for emergency health services, has been severely impaired by chronically low funding. Without immediate response, millions of lives risk being lost as these emergencies slip off the world’s attention.”

The appeal will support WHO’s efforts on the ground to increase the capacity of health workers, prevent the spread of disease, provide essential medicines and emergency nutrition, vaccinations, and set up mobile health centres for people forced to leave their homes.

Along with countering the health consequences of malnutrition, WHO is helping countries to detect, prepare for and respond to outbreaks of diseases like cholera, measles, and malaria.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said:

“Hunger is a direct threat to the health and survival of millions of people in the Sahel and greater Horn of Africa, but it also weakens the body’s defences and opens the door to disease. WHO is looking to people around the world to support our work on the ground responding to this dual threat, providing treatment for malnourished people, and defending them against infectious diseases.”

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