After five consecutive below-average rains, the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa is expanding and deepening.
Combined with insecurity and macroeconomic volatility, the impact of the drought on food and nutrition security has been devastating. Across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, an estimated 22 million people are now acutely food insecure because of the drought. The malnutrition situation is also critical. Some 5.1 million children across drought-affected areas of the three countries are acutely malnourished in 2023, with dire implications for their health, growth and survival. Concerningly, the upcoming March-May 2023 rains are also forecast to be below-average. Should these rains fail, and humanitarian assistance not be delivered at scale, food insecurity will continue to deteriorate.
Regardless of how the 2023 rains perform, extremely high humanitarian needs will persist through 2023 while a full recovery from a drought of this magnitude will take years. To address the devastating drought-induced hunger and malnutrition across the region, WFP is pursuing an integrated dual track approach; meeting immediate life-saving food and nutritional needs while simultaneously building resilience to extreme climate variability.