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Millions threatened by African drought

Feb. 7, 2006 at 4:47 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- U.N. officials warned Tuesday drought in the Horn of Africa has put 8 million people, including 1.5 million children under the age of 5, in danger.

Ann Veneman, executive director of UNICEF, said her group is working to make sure the affected areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia don't slip into a great crisis.

A U.N. release Tuesday said many areas in the four countries have not seen substantial rains for more than two years, leading to crop failures, livestock deaths and a loss of water sources.

U.N. officials said the drought also has a long-term impact on children's education since many are not attending school in order to join in the search for food and water.

UNICEF is requesting $16 million from the international community to fund its response to the drought.

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