New data shows how the drought drives up the acute hunger

ROM (AXADLE) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today warned that serious new famine data from Somalia sheds further light on the prolonged drought crippling effects on the Horn of Africa region and underscores the criticality of large-scale agriculture. help to keep rural families self-sufficient, bread-fed and in their home areas.

The latest assessment of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) in Somalia now shows that the number of people experiencing crisis, emergency or disaster levels of hunger is ready to exceed 6 million people between now and June – which represents staggering 38 percent of the country’s population. In addition, the analysis suggests that as many as 81,000 people in specific hunger hot spots are likely to experience death and starvation.

“These very alarming figures are the strongest indicator so far of a worsening situation. Across the Hornet, millions of people are at risk of falling into increasingly severe levels of hunger due to the cascading effects of the drought on people’s livelihoods, households’ productive assets and local food production, ”said Rein Paulsen, FAO’s Director of Emergencies.

This is an unprecedented fourth season of drought affecting these communities, along with other impacts such as conflict, COVID-19, macroeconomic challenges and a recent rise in desert locusts, Paulsen noted. As a result, people’s means of producing food and making money are stretched to the breaking point.

Prior to the release of the new Somalia data, between 13.1 – 14.1 million people in the region were estimated to face crisis or worse levels (according to the IPC classification system) of acute insecurity until May 2022 alone as due to the drought. This included 5.5 – 6.5 million people in southern Ethiopia, 4.1 million people in Somalia and 3.5 million people in Kenya. If the new Somalia IPC figures were included, this regional estimate would increase to 15 – 16 million people.

Given a poor start to the rain and gloomy weather forecasts for the rest of the rainy season, it does not appear that the ongoing spring rain will provide much relief.

“The only way to prevent a catastrophic food crisis from breaking and driving rural displacement is to act now on a large scale to enable farmers and cattle farmers to feed their families, keep life-sustaining animals watered, healthy and productive and avoid selling. other keys.productive assets to pay for their next meal, ”said Paulsen.

Agricultural support – crucial for resilience – underfunded

On January 17, 2022, the FAO launched an urgent appeal for $ 138 million in humanitarian funding aimed at providing a range of relief assistance to pastoralist and farmer families whose livelihoods are being destroyed by drought.

The key element of the FAO’s action plan includes a number of support measures. Activities including keeping pastoralists’ animals alive and productive by providing feed, water and veterinary care; distribute drought-tolerant early ripening varieties of sorghum, corn, cowpea and other beans and vegetables to families growing in pruning, and implement cash transfers and cash-for-work programs to ensure that the most vulnerable can access food (read more ).

To date, however, the organization has only secured $ 50 million in contributions.

FAO’s experience in the region during the reaction to the desert grasshopper, which erupted in 2020, showed that by acting on a large scale to strengthen the communities that bear the full burden when major shocks strike, it is possible to avert food crises, according to Paulsen.

“Unlike back then, when conspicuous hordes of grasshoppers fell overnight on pastures and fields, today we are witnessing a slow-moving catastrophe, which unfortunately does not seem to call for the same attention,” he said.

“But make no mistake: the scale of the devastation in the form of famine and lost livelihoods, if no more is done to support the communities now, will be appalling,” Paulsen added.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More