Slow Africa drought response 'cost lives'

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

    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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