The Horn of Africa composed of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Uganda is currently facing the third consecutive below-average rainfall season since late 2020. Up to 20 million people will need water and food assistance through mid-2022 due to drought, insecurity, economic challenges, and conflict.
10 million children are currently facing severe drought condition and at risk of hunger. The situation is rapidly deteriorating, especially for children experiencing severe malnutrition in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where 1.7 million children require urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition. If rain fails again in the coming weeks, this figure will rise to 2 million.
Countries in the Horn of Africa are experiencing the worst drought in decades. In Somalia, depleted access to water is causing crops to fail and livestock to perish – leaving families without enough food. An estimated 386,000 children in Somalia are now in desperate need of treatment for life-threatening severe acute malnutrition – now exceeding the 340,000 children who required treatment at the time of the 2011 famine.
For the past several months, Southern part of Ethiopia is severely affected by dangerous floods following unimaginable droughts, leaving families completely deprived and on their own. In Ethiopia, nearly 9.9 million people, including 4.5 million children, are currently affected by the drought. Amongst them, an estimated 1.5 million are malnourished children.
Besides hunger crisis, children can also be exposed to violence and abuse when fetching water. In most of the pastoral areas in Kenya, the return trekking distances between water and pasture increased by 120–150 per cent with an average distance of 20–35 km resulting from poor recharge and drying up of most surface water sources. In some areas over 90 per cent of open water sources have dried up and the remaining are expected to last between 1–2 months compared to 3–4 months normally.
HELP CHILDREN FACING HUNGER NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
UNICEF and partners urgently need $250 million to save children’s lives
“Our response must be multisectoral, going beyond food security to include WASH, nutrition, health, protection and education services and support. This support needs to be coupled with investments in resilience building and climate adaptation programs to prepare communities to deal with a changing climate.” said Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF.
“We cannot turn our backs on the children in the Horn of Africa. It’s not too late to prevent catastrophe, but we need the means to do it. “