UN: 13 million people face severe hunger in Horn of Africa

People in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya face the driest conditions recorded since 1981, UN World Food Program reported, calling for immediate assistance to forestall a major humanitarian crisis.

Published: 08th February 2022 02:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2022 02:04 PM   |  A+A-

Women and children walk past animal carcasses near Sagalo village in the Korahe zone of the Somali region of Ethiopia Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. In Ethiopia's Somali region, people have seen the failures of what should have been three straight rainy seasons and Somalia, Kenya, and now Ethiopia have raised the alarm about the latest climate shock to a fragile region.

In Ethiopia's Somali region, people have seen the failures of what should have been three straight rainy seasons. Photo taken on Jan 21, 2022. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

KAMPALA: Drought conditions have left an estimated 13 million people facing severe hunger in the Horn of Africa, according to the United Nations World Food Program.

People in a region including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya face the driest conditions recorded since 1981, the agency reported Tuesday, calling for immediate assistance to forestall a major humanitarian crisis.

Drought conditions are affecting pastoral and farming communities across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, south-eastern and northern Kenya, and south-central Somalia. Malnutrition rates are high in the region.

WFP said it needs $327 million to look after the urgent needs of 4.5 million people over the next six months and help communities become more resilient to extreme climate shocks.

“Three consecutive failed rainy seasons have decimated crops and caused abnormally high livestock deaths,” it said in a statement. “Shortages of water and pasture are forcing families from their homes and leading to increased conflict between communities.”

More forecasts of below-average rainfall threaten to worsen conditions in the coming months, it said.

Others have raised alarm over a fragile region that also faces sporadic armed violence.

The U.N. children’s agency said earlier in February that more than 6 million people in Ethiopia are expected to need urgent humanitarian aid by mid-March. In neighboring Somalia, more than 7 million people need urgent help, according to the Somali NGO Consortium.



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