Horn of Africa drought puts 15 million in severe danger

Horn of Africa drought puts 15 million in severe danger

More than 15 million people are in need of aid as drought hits parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Oxfam warns that lives are at risk if the lessons learned from the devastating droughts of 2011 and 2017 are ignored.

Low rainfall has destroyed crops and the means to earn a living for many people, leaving 7.6 million in the horn of Africa in severe hunger. The crisis is likely to have been heightened by millions fleeing their homes due to conflict.

Oxfam’s Regional Director for the Horn of Africa, Lydia Zigomo, said:

We learned from the collective failures of the 2011 famine that we must respond swiftly and decisively to save lives. But the international commitment to ensure that it never happens again is turning to complacency.  Once again it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are bearing the brunt.

Those who were affected by the 2017 famine are now in an even more vulnerable position. While the previous famine received swift funding ensuring an effective humanitarian response, millions are still recovering.

According to Oxfam, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have all stepped up with a more proactive response to the crisis. The Kenyan government is leading its drought response with minimal international funding; Ethiopia is paying nearly half the bill of all humanitarian activities in the country; Somalia has also significantly improve security and humanitarian access. However, international support is necessary to avert a greater crisis.

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Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia/2016/Ayene

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