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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Drought: 13 Million People Face Hunger In Horn Of Africa – UN

By Agency Report

As drought worsens in the Horn of Africa, estimated 13 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are facing severe hunger in decades, World Food Programme said Tuesday.

The UN Agency said three consecutive rainy seasons have failed as the region recorded its driest conditions since 1981.

According to the report, drought has destroyed crops and inflicted “abnormally” high livestock deaths, forcing rural families, who rely on herding and farming, to abandon their homes.

WFP’s regional Director in East Africa, Michael Dunford said, water and grazing land are in short supply and forecasts of below-average rainfall in coming months only threaten more misery.

“The situation requires immediate humanitarian action to avoid a repeat of a crisis like that of Somalia in 2011, when 250,000 died of hunger during a prolonged drought,” he added.

He said food aid is being distributed across an arid swathe of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where malnutrition rates are high and some 13 million people are at risk of severe hunger in the first quarter of this year.

In Somalia, the number of people classified as seriously hungry is expected to rise from 3.5 million to 4.6 million by May unless urgent interventions are taken.

Another 2.8 million people need assistance in south-eastern and northern Kenya, where a drought emergency was declared in September.

WFP said $327 million was required to respond to immediate needs over the next six months and support pastoral communities to become more resilient against recurring climate shocks.

In 2011, failed rains led to the driest year since 1951 in arid regions of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda.

Experts say extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change – with Africa, which contributes the least to global warming, bearing the brunt.

Source AFP.



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