Drought has affected pastoral and farming populations in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, south-eastern and northern Kenya and south-central Somalia, with forecasts of below-average rainfall threatening d worsen already dire conditions in the months to come.
“Crops are being destroyed, livestock are dying and hunger is increasing as recurrent droughts affect the Horn of Africa,” Michael Dunford, regional director of the WFP Regional Bureau for East Africa, said on Tuesday. a statement.
“The situation requires immediate humanitarian action and continued support to build community resilience for the future.”
Water and pasture shortages due to three consecutive poor rainy seasons have decimated crops and caused unusually high livestock deaths.
In addition, rising staple food prices, inflation and weak demand for agricultural labor have reduced people’s ability to buy food.
The WFP said families were being driven from their homes, aggravating conflict between communities.
Malnutrition rates also remain high in the region and could worsen if no immediate action is taken.
The UN has repeatedly sounded the alarm over the prolonged drought in the fragile region prone to armed violence.
Earlier this month, its children’s agency UNICEF said more than six million people in Ethiopia were expected to need urgent humanitarian aid by mid-March.
In neighboring Somalia, more than seven million people need urgent help, according to the Somali NGO Consortium.
According to experts, extreme weather events are occurring with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.
In October last year, the UN warned that more than 100 million ‘extremely poor’ people across Africa were at risk from accelerating climate change which could also melt the few glaciers in the continent within 20 years.