One euro could help a child survive for a week
Luxembourg's charities and Non-governmental organisations are appealing en masse for funds to help fight famine in Somalia and other drought-hit nations in East Africa.
Médecins sans Frontières, the Luxembourg Red Cross and SOS Faim are working closely to deliver life-saving food and equipment to the world's biggest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, among other places.
Despite their efforts, more than 11 million people are thought to be at risk of starvation and the UN has already declared famine in two areas of southern Somalia.
Luxembourg's Red cross is distributing potential life-saving foodboxes in the worst-hit areas, containing 100,000 BP5 biscuits and 504 kilos of "plumpy nuts", a peanut-based foodstuff both of which have high nutritional values to help famine victims.
The aid organisation is appealing for residents to give what they can to help it send out further packages and say that as little as one euro could help a child survive for a week.
Obstacles must be removed
Medical organisation Medecins sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for more to be done to remove the obstacles to providing emergency aid. It says that border controls are preventing many famine victims from accessing the refugee camps, which are also severely under-resourced.
MSF, which is solely funded by private donors, said that it was treating more than 10,000 malnourished children from feeding centres and dispensaries. But, it said that bureaucratic obstacles and restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers had caused unnecessary delays.
"The fighting in Somalia, the air supply restrictions and administrative barriers have contributed to the current difficulties faced by the Somali population," said MSF international president Unni Karunakara. "It is essential that the restrictions and obstacles to humanitarian aid are removed while the situation continues to worsen. "
The UN's food agency is hosting an emergency meeting to mobilise action to fight famine in Somalia and other drought-hit nations in East Africa.
Today's one-day session is being held at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation after France requested the top-level meeting.
UN officials say that in some parts of Somalia more than half the population suffers acute malnutrition. Some families fleeing famine say they lived on roots of wild plants as they walked for weeks to reach UN camps across the border in Kenya.
Decades-old conflict in Somalia complicates efforts to get food aid to the hungry in Somalia.
The UN World Food Programme estimates more than 11 million people need help in drought-hit East Africa.