Warning Over Hunger Crisis Gets Louder in East African Countries
The East African region is experiencing food shortages after the delayed start of the long rains in some countries and below-average rainfall in others. Among the countries affected is Somalia, where the government declared a drought after 80% of the country had no rain.
Famine Early Warnings Systems Network and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, predict that the situation is likely to get worse if the weather situation does not change.
Somalia's Humanitarian Response Plan requires U.S.$1.09 billion to assist about four million people, and more than three million who are in acute need. Since 1990, Somalia has experienced more than 30 climate-related hazards including 12 droughts and 19 floods.
According to the East Africa Food Security Outlook from June 2021 to January 2022 published by the Relief Web, food assistance needs will remain high and above average in Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, as well as northern and eastern Kenya through at least early 2022. The UN says more than 2.1 million people in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya are severely food insecure, following two consecutive seasons of poor rains, which have hampered crop production.
The Tigray region in Ethiopia will face severe food shortages due to almost a year of conflict,economic shocks are expected to exacerbate the severity of acute food insecurity there, as well as in South Sudan and Sudan. The Covid-19 pandemic also continues to affect food insecurity, especially among urban households in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, and in refugee camps in Uganda.
These issues were discussed at the annual Africa Green Revolution Forum, held from September 7 to 10, 2021 in Nairobi.
Small-scale farmers in Tanzania are receiving support to improve food security in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic (file photo).