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Horn of Africa afflicted by drought: FAO intervenes

25 million euros received from the German government and destined for Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed a contribution of 25 million euros from the German government to provide access to food and other basic goods and services, protecting and restoring productive livelihoods in drought-affected communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan.

A prolonged drought is leading to high levels of acute food insecurity across East Africa, with more than 22 million people in southern Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in need of urgent humanitarian food assistance (IPC phase 3 or higher) starting since March 2023, as crops fail, animals die and populations are displaced across the region. This figure includes 2.6 million people in a state of emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Kenya and Somalia and more than 96,000 people in a state of disaster (IPC Phase 5) in Somalia.

In Sudan, a combination of conflict and insecurity, periods of drought leading to agricultural production failure in the 2021/2022 crop season, rising food and agricultural input prices and climate extremes are contributing to the deterioration of the situation food in the country. Up to 11.7 million people are estimated to be facing crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or worse), of which 3.1 million are in emergencies (IPC Phase 4).

The outlook for this year remains bleak, with growing concerns over rainfall patterns for the March to May 2023 rainy season across the Horn of Africa. However, regardless of the seasonal pattern during this upcoming rainy season, recovery from a drought of this magnitude will take years and humanitarian assistance needs are projected to remain extremely high throughout 2023.

The new funding aims to mitigate the impacts of drought on food security and livelihoods by increasing ready access to food in rural communities, safeguarding and restoring livelihoods, and rapidly enabling self-sufficiency. The intervention seeks to reach nearly 1 million of the most vulnerable people in inaccessible and hard-to-reach rural areas. Of these funds, Ethiopia will receive € 7 million, Kenya € 6.5 million, Somalia € 7.5 million and Sudan € 4 million.

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EFA News - European Food Agency