Slow Africa drought response 'cost lives'

Charities say donors ignored early warnings, leading to loss of many more lives in Horn of Africa.

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    The deaths of up to 100,000 people in the drought-affected Horn of Africa could have been minimised had there been a swifter reaction from the international community and aid agencies, according to a report.

    The study by Oxfam and Save the Children says early warning systems forecast an emergency situation as early as August 2010, but a full-scale response to the drought did not start until July last year.

    It said donors wanted "proof of a human catastrophe before acting to prevent one".

    By that time, malnutrition levels had deteriorated and parts of Somalia had already been declared famine zones.

    Al Jazeera's Barbara Angopa reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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