Responding to recurrent drought and food insecurity devastating the Horn of Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed Kjell Magne Bondevik, the former Prime Minister of Norway, as his new Special Humanitarian Envoy for the region.“I have asked former Prime Minister Bondevik to become my envoy for the Horn and East African region, where we are facing very serious violence today, and the UN and its agencies will have the responsibility of feeding millions of people who will need the help of the international community, who will need to work with governments to raise the money and the resources to be able to assist them,” Mr. Annan told reporters.Former Prime Minister Bondevik voiced his determination to make a difference. “I know that this is a very difficult mission; at least 11 million people are threatened with starvation, so we need really to coordinate the efforts – UN agencies, the non-governmental organizations, the donors’ efforts – and I will do my best,” he said.Mr. Bondevik succeeds Martti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland, who is now the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo.More than 40 per cent of the population are currently undernourished in the Horn, one of the most food-insecure regions in the world. Severe drought is compounding an already dire humanitarian situation in countries beset by years of high rates of malnutrition and morbidity, chronic food insecurity and the effects of conflict.Mr. Bondevik will work with the UN system, the Governments of the affected countries, the donor community, non-governmental organization partners and other civil society groups. He will help the affected Governments strengthen comprehensive country food security programmes, with a focus on tackling the root causes of chronic food insecurity.At the same time, the 58-year old envoy will work to build stronger regional cooperation on food security issues between the main intergovernmental organizations, and act as an advocate for long-term funding and technical expertise from donors in support of national efforts to reduce vulnerability.Mr. Bondevik served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2005. After leaving office, he founded the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights, where he serves as President.