The prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa threatens to lead to extreme hunger for more than 13 million people

Farmer affected by drought in Africa (ALIANZA-ACTIONAID/)

Some 13 million people could be severely food insecure in the horn of africa What consequence of the prolonged drought since 1981according to the World Food Program (WFP), which has already detected damage to crops and a high mortality of cattle in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The region has chained three rainy seasons with bad data and is already registering unprecedented conditions in more than four decades. The lack of water and grass, which is expected to get worse in the coming months, is already causing new displacements and threatens to cause conflicts between communities.

In Somalia alone, WFP expects the number of severely food insecure people will rise from 3.5 to 4.6 million between February and May if action is not taken now, while in Ethiopia an estimated 5.7 million will need assistance in the coming months. In Kenya, whose government already declared a national emergency due to drought in September, there would be 2.8 million people who require assistance.

A woman affected by drought in Somalia
A woman affected by drought in Somalia (DPA / ANNA MAYUMI KERBER /)

The WFP director for East Africa, Michael Dunford, has warned that the crisis requires a “imminent humanitarian action”since in recent memory there are still the 250,000 people who starved to death in 2011 in Somalia. The agency aims to raise 327 million dollars (286 million euros) to help 4.5 million people in the next six months.

Elamy, an Ethiopian mother of seven children, receives financial aid from the WFP to offset current shortages. Her cattle are “in danger” and the family livelihood depends on him, so he does everything he can to keep these animals alive. “Every morning we take them in search of distant pastures, but even that area is drying up,” he laments, implying that the situation could worsen in a matter of weeks.

According to this UN organization, malnutrition rates are high and will continue to grow if urgent measures are not taken in southern and southeastern Ethiopia, southeastern and northern Kenya, and central and southern Somalia.

The WFP fears a humanitarian crisis like the one that occurred in 2011, when 250,000 people died of hunger in Somalia.for which he insisted that “immediate assistance is essential” to avoid such a calamity.

While the Kenyan government identified the drought as a “national emergency” in September 2021, Somalia declared the “state of humanitarian emergency” for that problem a month later.

(with information from EFE, EP and AP)


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