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UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas spotlights Horn of Africa food crisis

Geneva / New York, 05 August 2011

Film star and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas launched a global appeal to assist more than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa left in need by famine, drought, conflict and high food prices.

“Today, across the Horn of Africa, people are dying from hunger, and hundreds of thousands have left their homes, walking for weeks in search of food,” Banderas said of the crisis unfolding in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

“To turn the tide, to offer hope in the name of our common humanity, we must mobilize worldwide.”

This past week the United Nations declared that famine – the worst stage of food insecurity - now exists in five areas in Somalia. The criteria include more than 30 percent of children being acutely malnourished, and four children out of every 10,000 dying daily.

“The declaration of famine was not a decision taken lightly and demonstrates the severity and urgency of the crisis,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden.

On 29 July, the UN appealed for a further US$1.4 billion to bolster the ongoing response to the regional crisis, bringing the total funds required for the rest of the year to $2.48 billion.

“The United Nations is working to save lives and help people get back on their feet. But they need your support,” Banderas added. “By acting now, we can save lives.”

Banderas has been a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador since March 2010.

Make a donation through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which helps the United Nations to provide rapid response and relief to the victims of humanitarian disasters around the world.


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