Patterns in a catastrophic Horn of Africa drought have worsened since 2011, when at least a quarter-million people died, according to a climate institute.
The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center predicts below-normal rainfall during the next three months during the rainy season.
According to the institute, “this could be the sixth failed consecutive rainfall season” in the region that includes Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
The drought, Somalia’s longest on record, has lasted nearly three years, and tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died as a result. According to the UN, over one million people have been displaced in Somalia alone.
This month, the United Nations resident coordinator in Somalia warned that excess deaths in Somalia will “very definitely” exceed those of the country’s proclaimed famine in 2011.
According to a food security working group chaired by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development, close to 23 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are considered to be very food insecure.
According to the statement issued on Wednesday, 11 million livestock that are critical to the health and wealth of many households have died. Many of those affected in the region are pastoralists or farmers who have seen crops wither and water supplies dry up.
The humanitarian response has been hampered by the conflict in Ukraine, as traditional benefactors in Europe redirect funds to a problem closer to home. Workneh Gebeyehu, the head of IGAD, urged countries and partners to act “before it’s too late.”
The World Meteorological Organization has classified the IGAD climate center as a regional climate center.