Oxfam: Extreme hunger threatens 28 million people in East Africa

In eastern Africa, up to 28 million people are at risk of extreme hunger. Moreover, because the war in Ukraine is currently demanding all of our attention, there is a real chance that the international community will not respond adequately. The development organization Oxfam warns about this today.

Millions of people in East Africa are already experiencing severe food insecurity. The sharp rise in food and commodity prices as a result of the war in Ukraine threatens to exacerbate hunger. In addition, if the rains fail to materialize this month, as many as 28 million people in the region are at risk of extreme hunger, Oxfam says.

“The effects of the Ukrainian conflict on the global food system will reverberate around the world, but it will be the poorest and most vulnerable people who will be hit hardest and fastest,” said Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam’s executive director.

“Rising food prices are a sledgehammer for millions of people already suffering from multiple crises, and are making the massive shortage of aid potentially deadly.”

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Far too little money to the region

The NGO warns that until now, far too little money has been allocated for humanitarian aid to the region. So far, only 3 percent of the UN’s total humanitarian appeal for Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan has been funded. Kenya has received only 11 percent of its emergency aid from the UN so far.

“East Africa can’t wait,” said Bucher. “Oxfam calls on all donors to urgently fill the funding gap of the UN humanitarian appeal and to get the funds to local humanitarian organizations as soon as possible. Governments and warring parties in conflict zones must ensure that humanitarian organizations such as Oxfam are safe to reach the most vulnerable people.”

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