Nearly 11.5 million people are currently food insecure and in dire need of assistance in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda, where the current rainy season in some parts was the lowest in nearly 40 years.
This is a total of 11.4 million people, according to joint information published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (PMA).
However, it is a lower number than the number of people who needed help in the recent drought, 2016-2017, but the situation could be exacerbated by forecasts in Somalia, Kenya, northwestern Uganda and southeastern Ethiopia.
According to these agencies, the current rainy season, which was supposed to start in April, but has been delayed by a month and a half in some cases, is the lowest in some places since 1981.
Moreover, there have only been seven good harvests in these East African countries since 2016.
An estimated 785,000 children will need treatment for acute malnutrition in these four countries throughout 2019.
The agencies warn that if not acted in time, the worst-case scenario could leave between 2.6 and 5.6 million in a food security crisis and up to 1 million children under the age of five will need treatment for acute malnutrition.
In the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in recent years, 2017, hunger in sub-Saharan Africa has grown to affect 237 million people, representing 20% of its population, according to a report released today by several United Nations agencies.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlighted in a note that the increase is overburdening global efforts to end hunger, one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the international community.