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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Horn of Africa

16 May 2022

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A Turkana woman sorts charcoal - for many selling charcoal is their only source of income. Credit: OCHA/Jane Kiiru

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –  16 May 2022

Horn of Africa

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths on Friday concluded a two-day visit to Kenya where he saw first-hand the devastating impact of a fourth consecutive failed rainy season in the Horn of Africa. OCHA issued a press release Sunday that you may have seen.

During his visit, Mr. Griffiths met with people in the village of Lomopus in Turkana County, Kenya, and spoke with displaced people in Doolow, Somalia, as well as Korehey zone in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. Community members told Mr. Griffiths that this is the worst drought they have endured in living memory and that this crisis is threatening their lives and their way of life.

The humanitarian chief also met with Kenyan Government officials, with whom he discussed the Government’s response to the drought, as well as the vital need for life-saving action today, accompanied by support for drought-affected communities to adapt and thrive into the future.

The drought in the Horn of Africa has already affected more than 18 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, including at least 16.7 million people who are severely food insecure. These numbers are expected to rise in the weeks ahead, as the current rainy season (March to May) has been below-average, making this the longest drought in the Horn of Africa in at least four decades.

While the UN and partners have warned about this crisis for many months, and donors have come forward with pledges and commitments, Mr. Griffiths highlighted that we are now out of time: if new funding to further scale-up humanitarian operations is not received immediately, we are faced with the prospect of significant loss of life in the period ahead.

Mr. Griffiths stressed that people in Africa’s Horn are the human face of the global climate crisis, and that we must step-up and stand in solidarity with them before it is too late.

The UN and partners have reached almost 5.9 million drought-affected people with humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in 2022. However, we will only be able to meet the full scale of needs in the Horn of Africa if additional funding is forthcoming.