13 million people starve due to exceptional drought in Horn of Africa

Thirteen million people starve due to exceptional drought in the Horn of Africa: “The harvest is destroyed, the livestock is dying, and the hunger is growing”.

The Horn of Africa (East Africa) is yet experiencing one of its driest seasons. About 13 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are suffering from hunger as a result. The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) is sounding the alarm in a new report.

The south and south-east of Ethiopia, the south-east and north of Kenya, and parts of Somalia have been particularly affected. This is the worst drought since 1981.

Drought in Kenya
Drought in Kenya ©AFP

Three consecutive rainy seasons have failed, leading to crop failures and an “abnormal” number of dead animals, the WFP report said. Water shortages and the search for grazing land have forced families to leave their homes.

The near future does not look very rosy for eastern Africa either. Normally the rainy season starts in a good month, but for the time being, precipitation is again expected that is below average.

dead cow
Dead cow © AP

“The situation requires immediate humanitarian action,” said Michael Dunford, WFP regional head in East Africa. “The crops are being destroyed, the livestock is dying, and the hunger is growing.” He points out that we must absolutely avoid a crisis such as the one in Somalia in 2011, when 250,000 people died of hunger due to the drought. The UN program underlines that $327 million is needed to meet immediate needs over the next six months.

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