NAIROBI, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday warned of rise in hunger and further decline of local livelihoods in 2017 due to severe drought in the Horn of Africa region.

FAO said growing numbers of refugees in East Africa are also expected to place even more burden on already strained food and nutrition security as farming communities struggle with knock-on effects of multiple droughts that hit the region this year.

"We are dealing with a cyclical phenomenon in the Horn of Africa," Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division said in a statement.

"But we also know from experience that timely support to farming families can significantly boost their ability to withstand the impacts of these droughts and soften the blow to their livelihoods," said Burgeon.

According to FAO, about 12 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are currently in need of food assistance, as families in the region face limited access to food and income, together with rising debt, low cereal and seed stocks, and low milk and meat production.

The UN agency said Kenya is highly likely to see another drought in early 2017 and with it a rise in food insecurity. Current estimates show some 1.3 million people are food insecure.

FAO said after two poor rainy seasons this year, Somalia is in a countrywide state of drought emergency, ranging from moderate to extreme.

Some five million Somalis are food insecure through December including 1.1 million people in crisis and emergency conditions of food insecurity.

The latest analysis forecasts that the number of people in crisis and emergency conditions of food insecurity may further rise by more than a quarter of a million people between February and May 2017.

FAO also said some 5.6 million people in Ethiopia remain food insecure, while millions more depend on livestock herds that need to be protected and treated to improve milk and meat production.

The crop situation is relatively stable after the country completed the most widespread emergency seed distribution in Ethiopia's history as more than 25 NGOs and agencies reached 1.5 million households with drought-resistant seeds.

FAO said it has already begun disbursing emergency funds for rapid interventions in Kenya and Somalia.

The funds will support emergency feed and vaccinations for breeding and weak animals, repairs of water points, and seeds and tools to plant in the spring season.

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PHNOM PENH, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- As Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and other ASEAN leaders are going to have a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, analysts in Cambodia said the summit will give an opportunity to Cambodia to improve ties with the world's largest economy.

Mey Kalyan, senior adviser of the Supreme National Economic Council adidas nmd city sock tilbud , said the summit is very important for U.S.-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) relations, and it is extremely significant for Cambodia as its ties with the U.S. have always been rather bumpy.

"Now, there are good signs that this relation could be improved as evidenced by the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Cambodia recently," he told Xinhua. "Like other countries in the world , Cambodia needs more friends for its security and development."

He said that as a poor country, Cambodia needs security, official development assistance, investment adidas sko tilbud danmark , trade, technology transfer, and human resources development, and all of which the U.S. has.

"For Cambodia adidas sko dame tilbud , we want to see the normalization and improvement of relation with the U.S.," he said.

Joseph Matthews, director of the Phnom Penh- based ASEAN Education Center, said the summit would give an opportunity to Cambodia to ask the U.S. for more duty-free products to the U.S. market.

"The U.S. remains the biggest export market for Cambodian goods. Having more access of tax free Cambodian goods will boost local economy and productivity adidas sko tilbud , and which ultimately will have a positive effect on labor market," he said.

Chheang Vannarith, chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies, said the summit will be a chance for Cambodia to boost economic ties with the world's largest economy.

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The expert said the forthcoming summit demonstrates that the United States gives equal importance to ASEAN as it does with China.

"This is the first summit between U.S. and ASEAN after both sides agreed to elevate their partnership to a strategic partnership last November," he said. "The summit clearly signals the U.S. commitment in supporting the role of ASEAN in maintaining peace, stability, and development in the Asia- Pacific region."

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"For the issue of South China Sea, ASEAN does not have authority or legitimate rights to intervene into sovereignty disputes between its member states or between its member states with other countries," Vannarith said.

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LONDON, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- A 20 percent tax on sugary drinks could reduce obesity rates in Britain by 5 percent by 2025, according to a new report published Friday by Cancer Research UK.

The report predicts that the sugary drinks tax can lead to some 3.7 million fewer obese people if current trends continue.

Being overweight and obese is a major cause of.