Over 25 Million People Likely to Be Affected if Drought Continues

By Soko Directory Team / Published February 1, 2022 | 9:35 am




KEY POINTS

Consecutive seasons without adequate rain is driving massive humanitarian need as people in agro-pastoral communities struggle to cultivate crops and keep livestock alive to eat and sell.


drought

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Global leaders and donors should contribute to the scale-up of humanitarian assistance to build resilience to climate change and prepare for further drought. 


Over the coming few months, at least 25 million people in the horn of Africa and some parts of Kenya are likely to face a serious humanitarian catastrophe due to the continued drought.

Consecutive seasons without adequate rain is driving massive humanitarian need as people in agro-pastoral communities struggle to cultivate crops and keep livestock alive to eat and sell.

There is, therefore, a dire need for immediate and urgent scale-up of humanitarian assistance to avert the potential humanitarian crisis.

In areas where people depend on the cultivation of crops and livestock, thousands are becoming displaced as they move to find new pastures or sources of income and food.

In Kenya, a similar situation has led to the President declaring a state of national disaster with almost 3 million people on the brink of starvation as the drought persists in areas where people are heavily dependent on agricultural productivity.

There are visible signs of drought in the most affected areas, including dry land and dead cattle. Communal conflicts have also increased in Kenya as the competition for livestock, water, and grassland increases.

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“We are alarmed at the number of people that have been and will continue to be affected by the persistent droughts across East Africa. In Somalia, without a scale-up of humanitarian assistance almost 30 percent of the population; more than 4 million people, could have acute food shortages due to lack of crops and livelihoods by May of this year and more than 1 million people are estimated to be displaced due to the drought,” commented Kurt Tjossem, East Africa Regional Director for International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Tjossem added that cereal prices have already shot up to levels experienced during the famine in the region in 2011 where approximately 260,000 people died.

The driest conditions seen in over 40 years in Ethiopia, as well as the persistent conflict, are compounding the already precarious humanitarian situation.

Malnutrition cases in Ethiopia have doubled during this drought season and diarrheal cases are being reported amongst children under 5 years old.

Across the country, almost 26 million people need humanitarian assistance, making it the second-largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

Somalia and Ethiopia are two of the four countries in East Africa that feature in the top ten of the IRC’s Emergency Watchlist 2022 – the list of the 20 countries most at risk of humanitarian emergency in 2022.

The East Africa region is emblematic of the “System Failure” the IRC warns about in the Watchlist, whereby states and the international community are failing to confront the global challenges of conflict, climate change, and COVID-19 and are instead allowing record numbers of people to fall into humanitarian need.

Global leaders and donors should contribute to the scale-up of humanitarian assistance to build resilience to climate change and prepare for further drought.

“We have been responding to the drought in Ethiopia’s Somali & Oromia region and Kenya and Somalia, providing essential services such as nutrition, water, and cash assistance to affected populations. We are now in need of urgent and immediate additional funding to be able to scale up our response to meet the ever-increasing need,” concluded IRC.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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