NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept. 8 (UPI) — The drought gripping the Horn of Africa is expected to linger for the rest of the year, though rain is predicted for southern Somalia, the United Nations said.
The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization said that southern Somalia, affected by drought-caused famine, may expect average to more-than-average rainfall the rest of the year.
U.N. agencies have sounded alarms over the drought in the Horn of Africa. U.N. humanitarian officials said 3.2 million people in Somalia are at risk of starvation while another 12.4 million in the region are facing a humanitarian emergency caused by the drought.
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said, despite the return of rains, the region wasn’t out of danger yet.
“If we do not respond, the consequences will reverberate for years,” she said. “We will be asked how we stood by and watched a generation die, how we allowed a crisis to become a catastrophe, when we could have stopped it.”
The WMO warned that, although parts of the region are anticipating rain, conditions in northern Somalia and surrounding regions remain dire.