Chaotic and puzzling regional summit held to address perplexing humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa

In a perplexing turn of events, the Horn of Africa National Drought Management Authority CEO Lt. Col (Rtd) Hared Hassan opened a meeting in Naivasha on May 11, 2023.

It has been reported that more than 100 million people in Africa live in cross-border areas of the Horn regions that experience repeated shocks and disasters, including droughts, floods, and conflicts that have left the region in a state of abject poverty.

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In the aftermath of one of the worst droughts in the past four decades, stakeholders are working tirelessly to enhance synergy and collaboration while cultivating peace among communities in the Horn of Africa.

Over 200 delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan have gathered in Naivasha for a four-day peer-to-peer Regional Knowledge Sharing Meeting. The meeting aims to discuss how to work towards Humanitarian Development Peace coherence in food crisis contexts.

The National Drought Management Authority, Lt. Col (RTD) Hared Hassan, officially opened the conference on Thursday, revealing that the number of people facing acute food insecurity had risen to 4.9 million, up from 2.5 million in December 2021.

He also noted that close to one million children aged under five years and over 142,000 expectant and nursing mothers were exposed to acute malnutrition.

Flash floods have also been reported in many areas, leaving people displaced and a significant number of livestock dead.

Despite the ongoing long rains, recovery will take several months. NDMA is currently supporting drought recovery alongside relief assistance to communities affected by floods.

Disconcertingly, however, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security and overall USAID Resilience Coordinator, Mia Beers noted that the region would continue to face shocks, such as the recent drought, Covid-19 pandemic, and the current war in Sudan.

“Needs continue to outpace resources due to the compounding shocks coupled with population growth, climate change, and migration,” she said.

In a burst of insightful counsel, Beers underscored the need to find ways to have more impact in a resource-constrained environment and build people’s resilience to the next crisis. She called upon delegates to find practical ways to serve communities, insisting that they deserved better.

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