Singer N'Dour Calls For African Help For Famine Victims

N’Dour, who has been a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for 20 years, visited the camp in Dadaab, northern Kenya, to see victims of the famine.

“K’naan is the big star of Somalia. He’s the head of this operation. I’m going to New York and we’re going to talk about it. The other day I talked to Bono for more than an hour and he’s behind us,” N’Dour told reporters.

Famine has spread to six out of eight regions in southern Somalia, with 750,000 people facing imminent starvation, the United Nations said on Monday, and hundreds of people are dying each day despite a ramping up of aid relief.

Dadaab was set up as a camp for Somali refugees 20 years ago. It is now home to more than 400,000 people who have fled violence and hunger in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

N’Dour said Africans should do more to help the starving in the Horn of Africa and well-known personalities from the across continent should get behind campaigns to mobilise help.

“We only see Westerners, Africans are not here, that’s sad. It’s up to us to help, to show our brothers, our people that we are also here,” said the 51-year-old superstar.

“We have a lot of well-known people in Africa, artists and sports people to mobilise everybody so that these kids feel Africa is behind them,” N’Dour said.

A much-delayed African Union summit last month to raise money to tackle famine in Somalia and drought in the Horn of Africa raised $351 million, although $300 million came from the African Development Bank.

Oxfam said just $46 million was made in cash pledges, with only 21 out of 54 African countries giving money and three countries alone counting for $$20 million of that total. Reuters