The United Nations humanitarian partners have appealed for more than 500 billion shillings ($4.4 billion) to provide life-saving assistance and protection to about 29.1 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in 2022, the UN relief agency has said.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on Wednesday said between 12 and 14 million people are waking each day to face high levels of acute food insecurity and severe water shortages across the three countries, due to drought in the first quarter of 2022.
“We urgently call on donors to fund these appeals so that we can immediately respond to the life-threatening needs across the Horn of Africa,” UNOCHA added in its latest update on the drought situation in the region.
The UN relief agency called on donors to fund the vibrant network of local, community-based and women-led organisations, including refugee-led organisations, which carry out incredible work in drought-affected communities every day, Xinhua news agency reported.
It welcomed the emergency declarations issued by the governments of Kenya and Somalia and called on governments across the region to prioritise the drought emergency by allocating the necessary funds to provide timely comprehensive support to their communities.
According to the UNOCHA, nearly 5.5 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished in these three countries in 2022, including more than 1.6 million severely acutely malnourished.
It said the migration of livestock herds has reduced milk availability, negatively affecting nutrition, especially for children under five years.
It added that the October-December 2020, March-May 2021 and October-December 2021 seasons were all marred by below-average rainfall, leaving large swathes of Somalia, southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya facing exceptional drought.