The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has reportedly called for a funding of 37.15 billion shillings (approx. USD 327 million), as its response to tackle the severe drought situation in the Horn of Africa.
Michael Dunford, Regional Director, WFP Regional Bureau for East Africa, stated that the funding will cater to the immediate requirements of around 4.5 million people hit by drought in the upcoming six months and help communities recover from the severe climate changes.
World Food Program declared that the Horn of Africa is witnessing the driest weather since 1981, and the drought struck region will cause severe starvation amongst 13 million people throughout Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia during the first quarter of the year.
WFP claimed that the severity of the situation is due to three repeatedly failed rainy seasons that led to extremely high livestock deaths and decimated crops. It further commented that the scarcity of pasture and water are driving families out of their homes and augmenting community conflicts.
Dunford mentioned that the situation needs instant humanitarian action and steady support to build resilience in the communities for the future.
Moreover, future forecasts of less than average rainfall is projected to be a threat to the compound dire conditions in the forthcoming months.
WFP stated that droughts have affected farmer and pastoral communities throughout southeastern and southern Ethiopia, northern and southeastern Kenya, along with south-central Somalia. It further mentioned that impacts are worsened by rise in the prices of staple food, less demand for agricultural labor and inflation.
Moreover, the situation has also intensified the rate of malnutrition and it could persist and aggravate if left unattended.
WFP claimed that the requirements are growing in the region of Horn of Africa and abrupt help is critical to avoid a severe humanitarian crisis.