The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) reported on Friday that 22 million more people in the Horn of Africa’s drought-stricken region are now at risk of hunger.
According to relief organisations, years of inadequate rainfall in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia have resulted in the worst drought in 40 years and conditions that are comparable to starvation in the hardest-hit areas.
Millions of animals have been killed, crops have been devastated, and 1.1 million people have been evicted from their homes in search of food and water due to an unprecedented four failed rainy seasons.
According to WFP Executive Director David Beasley, “the world needs to act now to rescue the most vulnerable communities from the possibility of widespread starvation in the Horn of Africa.”
“This drought disaster still has no end in sight, therefore we must secure the funding required to save lives and prevent people from experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger and malnutrition.”
Beginning in 2022, the World Food Program (WFP) issued a dire warning that 13 million people in the three countries faced starvation and made a desperate plea to donors to open their wallets.
However, cash took a while to arrive because the Horn of Africa crisis was overshadowed by other problems, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In addition to driving up food and gasoline costs worldwide, Russia’s invasion increased the cost of providing relief.
By the middle of the year, 20 million people were in great need, and famine warnings became more urgent when rain failed to return to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
According to the WFP, at least 22 million people could die of famine by September.
If the following rainy season fails and the most vulnerable people do not receive humanitarian help, “this number will continue to rise, and the severity of hunger will worsen,” the World Food Programme (WFP) warned in a statement.
Famine is now a severe possibility, especially in Somalia, where over half of the country’s 15 million people are critically undernourished. Needs will stay high into 2023.
For the following six months, the WFP estimated that $418 million will be required to aid the most vulnerable.
In order to prevent famine in the Horn of Africa, the United States stated last month that it will provide $1.2 billion in emergency food and malnutrition treatment. It also urged other countries to contribute more.