Drought crisis in the Horn of Africa: Let’s act now

The scale of the crisis in Horn of Africa is unprecedented in living memory and is forecast to deteriorate further. Four consecutive rainy seasons have failed. It is anticipated that a fifth rain season will also fail.

Why is it serious?

Failed rains mean that:

  • People are hungry: almost 19 million people across Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are at IPC 3 ‘crisis’ level of food insecurity and require urgent food assistance to survive;
  • People are thirsty: around 11.6 million people are struggling to access sufficient water for survival;
  • People are losing their livelihoods: at least 6.5 million livestock have died;
  • People are leaving their homes: over 670,000 people in Somalia have left their homes due to drought.
770,000 Somalis are currently displaced because of the extreme drought ravaging the Horn of Africa. Faturahman is an IDP site in Baidoa, Somalia, where displaced people settled.

Famine is approaching

Somalia is on the brink of widespread famine, and areas of Kenya and Ethiopia are likely to also slip into IPC 5 ‘famine’ level of food insecurity. As the situation is already catastrophic, a famine declaration is largely irrelevant unless it brings with it an avalanche of donor funding.

Large-scale humanitarian funding is urgently required

Humanitarian funding can have the biggest impact now in keeping people alive. By the time any famine declaration comes, it will be too late.

NGOs must look in the shadows and round corners:

Humanitarian actors must avoid only focusing assistance on accessible areas and accessible populations. Instead, we should manage risk to effectively target the most vulnerable, the hard-to-reach and the marginalised.

One successful rain is not going to resolve the problem:

Droughts are becoming the norm rather than the exception, and innovative thinking followed by investment will be required once the crisis phase has passed to mitigate impacts in years to come.

What we do

Learn more about about the drought situation


September 2022

Baidoa and Burhakaba famine alert


August 2022

Drought situation continues to deteriorate in Kenya