Scant rain means 23.4M food insecure in Horn of Africa

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Thursday April 18, 2019
By Magdalene Mukami

‘Very, very fast we will be at the emergency and famine stages,’ warns Intergovernmental Authority on Development executive

NAIROBI, Kenya – With scant rainfall, urgent action is immediately needed to prevent food crisis in the Horn of Africa region, an eight-nation security bloc of the region said Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, an official of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) warned of impending food insecurity in the region including the nations of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Djibouti, Eritrea, and South Sudan.

Mahboub Maalim, IGAD executive secretary, said analyses show rainfall levels through mid-April will likely be amongst the driest since 1981, particularly in southern Kenya, much of Somalia, Somali region of Ethiopia, and localized areas of Uganda due to climate change effects.

He said: “We are currently at the crisis stage. Very, very fast we will be at the emergency and famine stages, environmental conditions are becoming worse, all countries should do something.”

According to IGAD, 2.76 million children under 5 are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in Ethiopia, over 900,000 in Somalia, and over 540,000 in Kenya.

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