World Food Programme 22 million people food insecure in the Horn of Africa

26 Jan 2023 by The Water Diplomat

The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa is worsening after five consecutive below average rains. Combined with insecurity and economic volatility, WFP states, the impact of the drought on food security has been devastating.

WFP estimates that 22 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are acutely food insecure because of drought. In its situation overview for the Horn of Africa, the International Office for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 36 million people are affected by the drought, and that more than 2 million people have been forced to move.

Across these three most drought affected countries, the WFP is collaborating with some 130 partner organisations and has more than doubled its humanitarian assistance since mid-2021, delivering food relief to 8.8 million beneficiaries every month. Over 2023, the WFP is calling for USD 2.4 billion to help avert a major humanitarian crisis and continue to supply aid to the 8.8 million beneficiaries currently receiving support.  Similarly, IOM continued to scale up its response in the region, reaching over 1.3 million people, with a particular emphasis on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and health services. IOM has reached almost 700 000 people with water services     

Since 2016, only two of the 12 rainy seasons across the lowlands of Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya have been normal. According to the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO’s) State of the Climate in Africa 2021 report, the rate of temperature rise across Africa is approximately 0.3°C per decade from 1991-2021. This is faster than the global average. African rainfall is highly variable and influenced by factors such as El Niño, La Niña, and the Indian Ocean Dipole. During 2022, La Niña persisted for a third year, which, combined with the Indian Ocean Diploe, contributed to drier than normal conditions for East Africa.