Horn of Africa: 13 million People Facing Severe Hunger, warns UN

ADDIS ABABA – Prolonged dry conditions in the Horn of Africa could cause an estimated 13 million people to face hunger, the UN Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday.

Three consecutive failed rainy seasons have decimated crops and caused abnormally high livestock deaths.

Shortages of water and pasture are forcing families from their homes, said the WFP adding that the situation has led to an increase conflict between communities.

Further forecasts of below-average rainfall are threatening to worsen and compound dire conditions in the coming months.

“Harvests are ruined, livestock are dying, and hunger is growing as recurrent droughts affect the Horn of Africa,” said Michael Dunford, Regional Director of the WFP.

“The situation requires immediate humanitarian action and consistent support to build the resilience of communities for the future.”

The drought has impacted pastoral and farmer populations across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, south-eastern and northern Kenya and south-central Somalia.

The impacts are compounded by increases in staple food prices, inflation, and low demand for agricultural labour, further worsening families’ ability to buy food.

As needs across the Horn of Africa grow, immediate assistance is critical to avoid a major humanitarian crisis, warns the UN agency.

This week, WFP launches its Drought Response Plan for the Horn of Africa, calling for US$ 327 million to respond to immediate needs of 4.5 million people over the next six months.


Featured Image Caption: Drought affected livestocks walking to a river side in Adadle district, Biyolow Kebele in Somali region of Ethiopia. [Photo WFP/Michael Tewolde]

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