ethiopiantimes

July 26, 2011

Is Eritrea hiding a looming humanitarian crisis?

Filed under: Eritrea — ethiopiantimes @ 9:56 pm
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The United States said, the number of people needing emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa region is now more than 11 million people. In Ethiopia, at least 4.5 million people are in need of assistance. Almost 3 million people need assistance in Somalia and an estimated 3.6 million people have been affected in Kenya. Others include Djibouti, Eritrea Sudan and Uganda. Speaking at State Department briefing on the crisis in the Horn of Africa region, Assistant Secretary of State, Johnnie Carson, accused the Eritrean regime of failing to provide data on the humanitarian needs of its own people. He said, “Many of these most recent refugees are suffering from life-threatening malnutrition, and there may be many more in need of assistance in Eritrea

where a repressive regime fails to provide data on the humanitarian needs of its own people. The free flow of information is what allows people to make early choices that can help avert catastrophe. We urge the Government of Eritrea to cooperate with the UN agencies and other international organizations to address the issue of hunger and food shortage in that country.”

In the briefing Al Jazeera journalist asked Mr. Carson about the situation in Eritrea and here is the excerpt

QUESTION: Camille Elhassani from Al-Jazeera English Television. I had a question about Eritrea. You – Mr. Carson, you’ve called for them to provide the data so that you know what the situation is there. Has there – have you seen refugees from Eritrea moving into neighboring countries, and do you have an expectation that they are going to cooperate so that you and the other international community can help them?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON: Eritrea is a closed and increasingly reclusive country, and its government has not been particularly helpful in sharing data and information about the severity of the food shortages or the drought in its country. Because it is a part of the Greater Horn of Africa, we assume that conditions in Eritrea are probably quite similar to the drought conditions that we are seeing in other places – in Ethiopia and in Kenya, Djibouti, and in Somalia. Because we don’t know what’s happening, our understanding of the situation is limited, but we encourage them to be more open about their needs and the needs of their population.

Have Your Say. Is Eritrea hiding a humanitarian crisis?

Source: Nazret .com

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