Impending famine a focus of ECOSOC humanitarian segment, 15-17 Jul; OCHA launches appeal 18 Jul

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 15 Jul 2002
Southern African drought places 13 million at risk of famine: OCHA
(NEW YORK, 15 July) The urgent plight of people in Southern African nations - facing a lengthy drought, already-low nutrition levels, a worsening AIDS epidemic and in some cases political unrest - is one of the focal points of the humanitarian segment of the 2002 meeting of the Economic and Social Council, taking place 15 - 17 July in the ECOSOC Chamber at UN Headquarters in New York.

Mr. Kenzo Oshima, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, addresses ECOSOC on 15 July on the issue of, among others, relief for vulnerable populations, after returning from a recent mission to the Southern African region. On 18 July, he will launch an inter-agency funding appeal for Southern Africa, at a meeting starting at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room Two at UN Headquarters.

Copies of the report of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on its regional assistance strategy will be made available to reporters later this week, under embargo until 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time, 18 July. The report covers Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and an additional section will be forthcoming on Angola.

Highlights of the ECOSOC humanitarian segment include:

Monday, 15 July

10:00 a.m. Address to ECOSOC by Mr. Oshima.
ECOSOC Chamber

Tuesday, 16 July

10:00 a.m. Panel on complex humanitarian emergencies, with UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, World Food Programme Deputy Executive Director Jean Jacques Graisse, International Committee for the Red Cross Director-General Jacques Forster, OCHA Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator Ross Mountain, and the UN Resident Coordinator for Burundi, Georg Charpentier.
ECOSOC Chamber

3:00 p.m. Panel on the transition from relief to development, with UN High Commissioner for Refguees Luud Rubbers, UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, International Federation of the Red Cross Secretary-General Didier Cherpitel, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi, and OCHA Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Carloyn McAskie.
ECOSOC Chamber

Wednesday, 17 July

3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Panel discussion on "Challenges for humanitarian assistance in the last decade and into the future", on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of coordinated humanitarian action by the UN. (For detailed programme, contact David Chikvaidze at 1-212-963-9665).

For more information on ECOSOC, contact Tim Wall of the UN Department of Public Information at 1-212-963-5851; For inquiries on the Southern Africa funding appeal, contact Brian Grogan of OCHA, at 1-212-963-1143,

To obtain b-roll footage on the Southern African drought, contact Margaret Riddle of UN Television at 1-212-963-7653.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit