Minggu, 12 Februari 2012

Rap music artist shocked by impact of hunger in Somalia, Kenya

Rap music artist shocked by impact of hunger in Somalia, Kenya

By Peter Mutai

NAIROBI,  (Xinhua) -- Rap music star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson on Thursday expressed deep concern about the nature of the hunger in Kenya and its impact on neighboring Somalia.

Jackson who has been on a field visit to Somalia and Kenya to see at first hand the fight against hunger in the Horn of Africa said what he is devastated by what he saw in both countries especially the plight of children and women in the Somali camps.

"What I am seeing is devastating -- these women and children have risked everything to come to this Somalia camp, just to get food. They need our help," Jackson said, according to a statement issued in Nairobi by the UN World Food Program (WFP).

WFP has been hosting rap music star who flew on Wednesday to Dolow in Somalia's southern border region, where thousands of women and children have taken refuge at Kabasa camp for displaced people fleeing from drought and conflict.

He saw women and children being screened for malnutrition, and visited a nearby school.

Last week, the UN declared an end to famine conditions in Somalia but warned that the crisis in the Horn of Africa is not over and requires continued efforts to restore food security and help people resume normal lives.

The number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance in Somalia has dropped from 4 million to 2.3 million, or 31 percent of the population, according to a new report by the UN. Additionally, 325,000 children are acutely malnourished.

Jackson on Thursday visited a school in a Nairobi slum where he met children, many of them orphans.

"To meet those kids was so inspiring, they have nothing, yet they are so positive and optimistic. I want to do my part so they get food and an education. I hope more people will join me to help end this devastating situation," he said.

In September last year, Jackson made a public commitment to provide one billion meals for the hungry.

As part of his fundraising drive, he is donating to WFP money from the sales of a new energy drink, called Street King. For every unit sold, he has pledged to donate 10 U.S. cents, which covers the typical cost of food in a WFP meal.

WFP provides nourishing meals and snacks to improve concentration in the classroom and to encourage families to enroll and keep their children in school.

A severe drought ravaged the Horn of Africa last year, causing food shortages that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in Somalia and led to the declaration of famine by the UN in six areas of the country.

At the height of the crisis, 750,000 people in the Horn of Africa were at risk of death.

A famine is declared when the following measures of mortality, malnutrition and hunger are met: at least 20 percent of households in an area face extreme food shortages with a limited ability to cope, acute malnutrition rates exceed 30 percent, and the death rate exceeds two persons per day per 10,000 persons.

sources: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/entertainment/2012-02/10/c_131401811.htm

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