Major drought threatens 13 million people in East Africa.

February 8, 2022, 3:20 pm

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.

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