One of the worst droughts in recent history has reached the Horn of Africa. Severe food shortages threaten the lives of around 10 million people in Ethiopia and Somalia, including a high number of women, children, and the elderly.
Switzerland is concerned about the ongoing drought in the region and has set aside CHF 10.8 million to assist those who have been impacted.
Droughts have hit the region three times in a row, causing severe water shortages. The risk of sickness and severe starvation has increased considerably as a result of the loss of livestock and crops. Thousands of families are fleeing their towns in search of food, water, and pasture in desperate attempts to survive.
Drought has an especially negative impact on the most disadvantaged populations. Drought raises the likelihood of gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, makes it harder for children to attend school, and leads to malnutrition-related developmental problems and diseases.
IDPs who are separated from their families or other social networks are much more vulnerable and in need of assistance. Prices of wheat and other key items may rise as a result of the fighting in Ukraine, further aggravating the situation for people in Somalia and Ethiopia.
Quick action to assist those in need
Switzerland gives CHF 10.8 million to World Food Program and ICRC projects in Somalia and Ethiopia to support those in need.
Swiss emergency reserves are also being replenished for ongoing construction initiatives. These programs are able to reduce the effects of the drought on those who are affected because of the quick response.
In Ethiopia and Somalia, Switzerland additionally contributes to UN pooled funds that support local humanitarian organizations. These groups can give low-cost, fast, coordinated, and focused support.
Swiss Horn of Africa Cooperation Program 2022-25
Switzerland’s commitment is based on the Swiss Horn of Africa Cooperation Program 2022-25. The current program, which has a budget of CHF 215 million for the next four years, is the third installment of a regional cooperation initiative that began after the 2011 famine. More than 250,000 people died as a result of this in Somalia alone.
The program is being implemented jointly by the FDFA (COSUDE and Secretary of State) and the FDJP (Secretariat of State for Migration). In the Horn of Africa, Switzerland participates in local, national, regional and global efforts to address issues related to governance, food security, protection of civilians/migration and health.