The inter agency working group on disaster preparedness in East and Central Africa (IAWG) has launched a regional Call To Action targeting the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that began on the 19th and will be running to 21st of January 2017. The paper titled Lesson Learned? An Urgent Call for Action in Response to the Drought Crisis in the Horn of Africa builds on an earlier call to action concerning the ongoing drought that is placing many populations at risk of famine, food and water scarcity in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Failure of the 2016 October-December rains across parts of the Horn of Africa has led to a devastating drought in Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya. More than 15 million people in these three countries are facing food and water shortages, and famine is now a possibility in Somalia. The drought follows one of the strongest El Niño events on record, and many of the affected areas have seen the failure of successive rains, with cumulative impacts that have exhausted the coping strategies of vulnerable communities.
Forecasts suggest the next rains in affected areas – expected from March-May – may also be below-average.
In Somalia, 5 million people need humanitarian assistance. In Ethiopia, 5.6 million people need emergency food assistance and 9.2 million require safe water. In Kenya, 1.3 million people are facing food shortages.
Since the 2010-11 hunger crisis in the region, much work has been done and concrete gains made in terms of preventing the worst impacts of drought. However, in the face of overwhelming climate shocks, humanitarian interventions are still urgently needed.
Large-scale failure of rains during October-December 2016 has led to a devastating drought across parts of the Horn of Africa. Central and southern Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia and northern and eastern Kenya received less than a quarter of their normal seasonal rainfall.i Water levels are declining fast and crops and pasture have been ravaged; vegetation conditions are the worst on record in many areas, surpassing those observed during the drought of 2010-11.
The Call to action urges Governments, donors and the international community to act quickly on the lessons learned in 2010-11 to protect the hard-won gains of recent years and prevent this crisis becoming a catastrophe.
For more information on the Call to Action,please find below the briefing note.