Millions of people in the region are facing food shortages due to the worst drought in 40 years and rising global food costs.
The United Nations and several aid organizations say the Horn of Africa region is on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian disaster.
Millions of people are facing food insecurity, as scientists and aid groups warn that Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia could experience their worst drought in 40 years since October. October through December with drier than average conditions predicted.
In addition to the delayed rains of the past two years, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted food supplies globally and led to rising food and energy prices in the region.
Here’s everything you need to know about the situation.
What is happening?
- Over the past two years, drought has killed millions of livestock and destroyed crops.
- More than 1.8 million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia need urgent treatment for life-threatening severe acute malnutrition. Thousands of people have also been displaced from other countries in the region such as Djibouti and Eritrea.
- Last month, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization warned of an impending fifth consecutive rainy season, forcing more than a million people in the region to flee their homes in search of food and water.
How much aid is needed?
- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has raised $473 million over the next six months to cover the crisis. An earlier protest in February raised less than 4% of the cash needed, it said.
- Last June, the World Bank approved $327.5 million to support herdsmen in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia affected by drought.
How many people are at risk of starvation and death?
- In June, the World Bank said an estimated 66.4 million people in the Horn of Africa region – including 10 million children – were forecast to experience food stress or food crisis. state of emergency or famine in July.
- According to WFP, the number of people at risk of starvation has increased to 22 million.
- In Ethiopia, an estimated 20.4 million people need food assistance.
- In Somalia, nearly half of the population of 15 million are “severely hungry” and face “a very real risk of hunger in the coming months” if current conditions remain the same, the WFP said.
- In Kenya, half a million people are on the brink of a hunger crisis and the number of Kenyans in need has more than quadrupled in two years, WFP said.
Who said what?
- “WHO is very concerned about this situation. Carla Drysdale, spokeswoman for the World Health Organization (WHO), said.
- WFP Executive Director David Beasley said: “There is no end to this drought crisis, so we must get the resources we need to save lives and prevent people from falling into catastrophic starvation. cruel”.
- “We know from past experience that early action to avert a humanitarian disaster is critical, but their ability to deploy a response is critical,” said Michael Dunford, WFP East Africa Regional Director. I am limited due to lack of funds so far.”
- Martin Griffiths, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that starvation was at the door“. “This is, in commonly used words, and not rather here, a humanitarian disaster,” he said.
What impact does Russia’s war with Ukraine have on this crisis?
- Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, was forced to halt virtually all deliveries after Russia invaded the country last February.
- The war in Ukraine has led to disruptions to the global supply chain of availability of imported wheat. In turn, that contributed to the increase in food and fuel prices.
- Under an agreement brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, grain exports resumed in August with a vessel docked at the port of Djibouti.
- But nonprofits say the Russia-Ukraine conflict also abruptly withdrew millions of dollars from more protracted humanitarian crises. In June, the Norwegian Refugee Council added Somalia to its list of world refugees The 10 most forgotten crisis.