20 Million People in Horn of Africa Need Urgent Help

20 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are estimated to need urgent food aid due to severe drought and escalating conflict in 2022.

Severe drought
Illustration. Severe drought in the East African Peninsula. (Doc. Anadolu Agency)

ACTNews, AFRICA – According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), more than 20 million people in the Horn of Africa–Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya–will require immediate food assistance by 2022. It represents a more than 70% increase over the food crisis of 2022.

A severe drought in the East African Peninsula is causing an increase in the demand for food aid. Rain failed for the third time over much of Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya during the October to December 2021 season.

The Horn of Africa regions suffer from water scarcity and low vegetation, limiting food sources from the plant sector.

Damaged vegetation has an impact on livestock as well. Farmers are having difficulty obtaining grass for their livestock.

The failure of the fourth rainy season, according to UNOCHA, is also possible. UNOCHA also predicts that drought in the Horn of Africa will get worse.

In these areas, armed conflict is also expected to worsen. It raises significant concerns about the disparity in household food consumption.

According to Somali Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Abdinasir Arush, the worst drought was in the Gulf and Bakool regions of Central Somalia.

"Cities in the Bakool region are suffering from extreme heat and the worst drought in decades. Many residents are pleading for assistance. We are attempting to assist, but our resources are extremely limited," Arush stated. []