Over 17 Million Face Food Shortages in Horn of Africa due to Severe Drought

Rome, With as little as one-quarter of expected rainfall received, widespread drought conditions in the Horn of Africa have intensified since the failure of the October-December rains, FAO said.

FAO estimates that over 17 million people are currently in crisis and emergency food insecurity levels in member-countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, which are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

FAO warns that if response is not immediate and sufficient, the risks are massive and the costs high.

“The magnitude of the situation calls for scaled up action and coordination at national and regional levels. This is, above all, a livelihoods and humanitarian emergency – and the time to act is now”, said FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo. “We cannot wait for a disaster like the famine in 2011”.

“The drought situation in the Region is extremely worrying, primarily in almost all of Somalia but also across Southern and South-eastern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. As a consequence, with the next rains at least eight weeks away and the next main harvest not until July, millions are at risk of food insecurity across the region”, Semedo said.

Source: Qatar News Agency