Tuesday, May 24, 2022

UN: 13 Million People Face Severe Hunger in Horn of Africa

KAMPALA, Uganda — 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.

food-wheat-distributed
Food supplies of wheat are distributed during a visit by World Food Program (WFP) Regional Director Michael Dunford to a camp for the internally-displaced in Adadle, in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, on Jan. 22, 2022. (Claire Nevill / WFP via AP)

“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 UN 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.

The Associated Press

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