Horn of Africa: Latest Update

19 September, 2011
Malnourished child receives treatment in Ethiopian camp, July 2011. Credit: OCHA/Jiro Ose
Malnourished child receives treatment in Ethiopian camp, July 2011. Credit: OCHA/Jiro Ose

With the recent declaration of famine in a sixth area of southern Somalia, people continue to move into Mogadishu, Ethiopia and Kenya in search of help. While mortality and malnutrition rates among people arriving in the Dollo Ado camp in Ethiopia remain alarming, the latest Horn of Africa Crisis situation report notes that arrivals are slowing down. For example, nearly 5,000 people moved to Mogadishu in August compared to at least 28,000 new arrivals in July.

In southern Somalia, humanitarian organizations have managed to reach a larger number of people in need in the last two months. In August food assistance reached nearly double the 730,000 people reached in July.  However, the highly insecure environment continues to hamper relief efforts, and an increase in the number of measles and Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) cases has been reported.

UNHCR reports a drop in crude mortality rate from 3.9 per 10,000 per day to 2.0 per 10,000 per day among people living in the Kobe camp in Ethiopia, although this is still above the emergency threshold. The volatile security situation in Sudan’s Blue Nile State is also driving refugees into Ethiopia.

In western Kenya, humanitarian agencies have begun developing contingency plans for floods after weeks of above average rainfall has caused flooding in the Lake Victoria region, damaging infrastructure, displacing people and destroying crops. FEWS NET says additional rains could further worsen conditions.

Some 20 to 30 per cent of Kenyan pastoralists have lost all their livestock due to the drought. Their livestock, already weakened by long distance trekking and lack of pasture and water are also more susceptible to diseases and parasites with the onset of rains.  However, food insecurity is expected to only slightly improve during the short rains as recovery will require more than one good rainy season.

More>> OCHA Horn of Africa Crisis Situation Report #14   [15 Sept 2011]