Situation Report: Drought And Food Crisis In Northeast Africa


Click here to download a PDF of this report.

Updated August 10, 2011

Overview

As a result of one of the worst droughts in 60 years caused by extremely poor rainfall in North East Africa (also known as the Horn of Africa) an estimated 12.4 million people are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance and continues to rise[i]. The countries affected include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Women and children are the most severely affected, with one U.S. source estimating that 29,000 children under the age of 5 have died in the last 90 days from the famine.[ii]  

According to the UN, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Northern Somalia are currently experiencing a Level 4 humanitarian crisis due to the drought, including severe lack of food access, death due to hunger, malnutrition and irreversible livestock asset stripping.  In Southern and Central Somalia, 5 regions have been declared as experiencing a Level 5 catastrophic famine – the most severe possible rating[i].   

Southern Somalia

The situation in Southern Somalia is dire and worsening. Over 650,000 Somali refugees thus far have fled their home country in search of food and water.[i] Most are being housed in refugee camps in Eastern Kenya[ii]. While development agencies and NGO’s have mobilized to address the crisis in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and some areas in Northern/Central Somalia, organizations are struggling to provide assistance in Southern Somalia. The areas currently controlled by Al Shabab, a militant group associated with Al Qaeda. Al Shabab has been blocking food aid on the grounds that aid workers are spies and circulating propaganda claiming that it is better to starve than accept help from the West[iii]. The famine is expected to last through the end of the year, highly dependent upon the rainy season in October[iv].

Numbers

·         Worst drought in the area in 60 years[v]

·         First UN declared famine in Africa in 20 years[vi]

·         12.4 million people total and 3.7 million Somalis are in need of immediate, lifesaving assistance[vii]

·         An estimated 29,000 children under the age of 5 in Southern Somalia have died[viii]

·         500,000 children are on the brink of starvation[ix]

·         $2.48 billion USD requested by humanitarian agencies to address the famine, of which 45% has already been committed[x]

Recommended Social Media Postings

While the greatest need is for immediate funding to distribute food to those in need, you can help now by raising awareness about the crisis to garner broad support for organizations on the ground. Below are GPG’s recommended Social Media Postings for your use.

Facebook

·         Please help the millions of people affected by the Food Crisis in East Africa – Click to learn more about the issue and organizations in need of assistance.

·         Link: http://www.one.org/blog/2011/08/03/horn-of-africa-crisis-what-you-can-do-to-help/

Twitter

·         Help millions affected by #FoodCrisis in #EastAfrica. Learn more here:

·         Link: http://www.one.org/blog/2011/08/03/horn-of-africa-crisis-what-you-can-do-to-help/

Current Relief Effort

Many international NGO’s have been working in the region for decades, and are asking for additional funding to expand their existing efforts to more broadly address the crisis. In addition to international efforts, a new fundraising campaign “Kenyans4Kenya”, aims to raise KES 500 million ($5.4 million) in four weeks from mobile cash transfers and has raised some $2m since its 27 July launch[xi]. Additional organizations working in country:

CARE
Helping more than one million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. In Dadaab, CARE is the primary distributor of food, water and education. In Ethiopia, CARE supports emergency nutrition programs, livestock operations, and water and sanitation. In Somalia, CARE is rehabilitating water harvesting structures and operating cash-for-work programs.   

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 
In Ethiopia, CRS is expanding its food distribution program to 1.1 million beneficiaries and is working closely with local partners to provide livelihood support, water, and sanitation. In Somalia, CRS is supporting local partners to assist highly vulnerable, displaced families with basic necessities, such as food packages, support to clinics, therapeutic feeding, and shelter. In Kenya, CRS is working both to assist newly arrived refugees with hygiene, sanitation promotion, and protection, and also to provide water, sanitation, and supplemental feeding to drought-affected Kenyan communities.   

Concern Worldwide
Presence in the region for over 25 years, has long-term development programs in many affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, and launched an immediate response to the drought emergency at its onset in late 2010. Reaching over 400,000 people in the Horn of Africa region with clean water, food and interventions to treat and prevent malnutrition. Read more.  

International Committee of the Red Cross
Scaling up its emergency operation in central and southern Somalia to assist an additional 1.1 million drought- and conflict-affected people. Read more.  

International Rescue Committee
Runs medical services at one of Dadaab’s three camps, providing lifesaving care for thousands of Somali refugees, including many suffering from acute malnutrition. The IRC provides a range of medical, protection & counseling services to refugee women and girls who have been sexually assaulted. In Ethiopia, the IRC is installing or expanding water-supply systems in camps that serve 82,000 Somali refugees. In Central Somalia, the IRC is ensuring access to water for 32,000 people. Read more.  

Mercy Corps
Teams in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are distributing food and water and expanding critical relief efforts. Teams on the ground are helping more than 900,000 people in the region survive, with plans to expand rapidly over the coming weeks. Read more.  

Oxfam America
Providing life-saving water, sanitation services, food, and cash with the goal of reaching 3 million people, including 700,000 in Ethiopia, 1.3 million in Kenya, and 500,000 in Somalia.
Read more.

 Save the Children 
Launched a major humanitarian response in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, feeding thousands of children, providing life-saving medical treatment, and getting clean water to remote communities. Save the Children is also helping communities adapt to more frequent droughts, reducing the number of children at risk in future food crises. Read more.

UNICEF
Massively scaling up relief efforts including therapeutic foods to treat children suffering from severe malnutrition; vaccinations to fight deadly and disabling diseases that threaten malnourished children; access to clean water and sanitation and measures to protect children from violence, exploitation, and abuse.
Read more.  

World Food Program
Planning to feed 7.9 million of the most vulnerable in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia and has identified an additional 2.2 million people in need in difficult-to-access areas of southern Somalia. WFP has expanded its supplementary feeding programs in Somalia and has airlifted food supplies into Mogadishu to treat around 30,000 malnourished.

[i] “Horn of Africa Drought Crisis. Interim Situation Report.” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs. 4 August 2011. (Web)

[ii] “CGI Networking Call: Food Crisis in Horn of Africa.” Indirect quote on refugees in Kenya from Stanlake Samkange, Regional Director for East and Central Africa, World Food Programme. 9AM PST, 9 August 2011.

[iii] Paarlberg, Robert. "Famine in Somalia: What Can the World Do About It? The Atlantic — News and Analysis on Politics, Business, Culture, Technology, National, International, and Life – TheAtlantic.com. 2 Aug. 2011. (Web)

[iv] “CGI Networking Call: Food Crisis in Horn of Africa.” Indirect quote on famine depending on October rainfall from Carsten Voelz, Humanitarian Director, Oxfam International. 9AM PST, 9 August 2011.

[v] "BBC News - Horn of Africa Tested by Severe Drought." BBC - Homepage. 4 July 2011. (Web)

[vi] Pflanz, Mike. "Why the UN Declared a Famine in Somalia (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com." The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com. 20 July 2011. (Web)

[vii] Straziuso, Jason. "29,000 Somali Children under 5 Dead in Famine - World News - Africa - Somalia - Msnbc.com." Msnbc.com - Breaking News, Science and Tech News, World News, US News, Local News- Msnbc.com. MSNBC, 30 July 2011. (Web)

[viii] Straziuso, Jason. "29,000 Somali Children under 5 Dead in Famine - World News - Africa - Somalia - Msnbc.com." Msnbc.com - Breaking News, Science and Tech News, World News, US News, Local News- Msnbc.com. MSNBC, 30 July 2011. (Web)

[ix]  Gettleman, Jeffrey. “Somalis Waste Away as Insurgents Block Escape From Famine.” The New York Times. 1 August 2011. (Web.)

[x] “Horn of Africa Drought Crisis. Interim Situation Report.” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs. 4 August 2011. (Web)

[xi] “Horn of Africa Drought Crisis. Interim Situation Report.” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs. 4 August 2011. (Web)

[i] “Eastern Africa: Drought – Humanitarian Snapshot”. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs. 29 July 2011 (Web)

[i] “Eastern Africa: Drought – Humanitarian Snapshot”. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs. 29 July 2011 (Web)

[ii] Straziuso, Jason. "29,000 Somali Children under 5 Dead in Famine - World News - Africa - Somalia - Msnbc.com." Msnbc.com - Breaking News, Science and Tech News, World News, US News, Local News- Msnbc.com. MSNBC, 30 July 2011. (Web