People displaced by drought react as Cindy McCain (not seen), World Food Programme executive director, visits to assess drought conditions at the Ladan internally displaced people camp in Dolow, Somalia on May 1, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
NAIROBI / ADDIS ABABA - Prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa has left 23.4 million people acutely food insecure and 5.1 million children acutely malnourished, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has said.
It said 36.6 million people have been affected by the drought across the region, calling for "immediate and medium-to-long-term actions" to prevent and mitigate the worst impacts and reduce vulnerability and risks while building and strengthening resilience.
The WFP said that 1.7 million people in Somalia, 516,000 people in Ethiopia and 466,000 people in Kenya have been displaced by drought
An estimated 2.7 million people have been displaced by the drought, the WFP said in its latest situation update released on Sunday evening. The WFP said that 1.7 million people in Somalia, 516,000 people in Ethiopia and 466,000 people in Kenya have been displaced by drought.
Successive below-average harvests, coupled with high production and transport costs, reduced local agricultural produce and led to food price spikes, the WFP said.
It said the impacts of the 2020-2023 drought are likely to persist for a long time, noting that as droughts have become more frequent and intense, it will take longer for the affected populations to fully recover.
The WFP said favorable rains over March-June led to better-than-normal vegetation conditions in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of Ethiopia, northern Somalia, and parts of Kenya, compared to the end of 2022 short rains season.
"This signifies improved availability of livestock grazing pastures/forage except in localized areas. However, in south-central Somalia and southwest Kenya, insufficient precipitation or localized incidences of floods might impact the seasonal harvests, affecting food availability," it said.
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