East Africa's hunger crisis explained.
Updated: Jul 27, 2018
1. MORE THAN 20 MILLION PEOPLE IN EAST AFRICA ARE AT RISK OF STARVATION.
In South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, a massive hunger crisis has pushed people to the brink of starvation. For the third season in a row, inadequate rain has fallen on East Africa. Drought and conflict have contributed to severe food shortages and the massive loss of livestock — leaving entire communities with no way out. Concern has been working in these four countries for many years. In recent months, we have swiftly scaled up our response to rush food, clean water, and emergency nutrition to millions in desperate need.
2. While the most recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report found that famine conditions no longer exist in areas of South Sudan (due in part to a swift humanitarian response), almost two million people remain on the brink. More than six million are struggling to find enough to eat, and over one million children are suffering from malnutrition.
3. South Sudan’s crisis is man-made, driven primarily by conflict. In 2016, more people fled South Sudan than fled Syria.
4. 6.7 million people, more than half of Somalia’s population, desperately need food assistance.
Somalia is experiencing famine-like conditions, and insufficient amounts of rain experienced throughout the country will lead to worsening of food insecurity.
5. In Kenya, close to 3.2 million people are facing starvation. This figure includes 700,000 children under five years old facing starvation.
6. There are approximately 400,000 acutely malnourished pregnant and lactating mothers and children in Kenya. Malnourished mothers are more likely to give birth to babies with low birth-weight.
7. Food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate even more, particularly in the southern and south-eastern regions.
Ethiopia is still experiencing the effects of a severe drought caused by El Niño, particularly in the southern and southeastern regions of the country.
WE MUST ACT
8. Hunger and conflict are causing many to flee to neighboring countries in search of security, food, and water. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 1.9 million people are displaced inside South Sudan, and 1.6 million have fled to neighboring countries.
9. Malnutrition levels are on the rise in the Horn of Africa as access to food and clean water continues to diminish. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that the number of children under five who are acutely malnourished will rise to 850,000 in 2017.
10. Humanitarian assistance needs are underfunded across the region. In Kenya alone, less than 24% of the money needed to tackle the crisis has been given.