Read our 2021 annual report
Significant parts of East Africa are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent years.
After four consecutive below-average rainy seasons since late 2020, major parts of East Africa are being affected by one of the most severe droughts in recent history. Over 23 million people face dangerous levels of hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan. This is likely to rise to 27 million by September.
As it stands, one person is estimated to die every 48 seconds due to hunger in the region. A total of 20 million people are at risk of starvation this year, with 5.7 million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in danger of becoming acutely malnourished. A further 1.7 million, will unfortunately become severely acutely malnourished.
Millions of people, no longer able to live off their land are leaving their homes to search for food and water as the situation worsens and as agriculture continues to falter. In Somalia alone, over 7 million people have been affected, with 1 million people leaving their homes and 3 million livestock have perished as a result of the drought.
East Africa has faced famine and drought in its past, with the 2011 crisis being particularly devastating. However, this current crisis is being exacerbate by climate change and the Ukraine conflict. It is important to note that the direct causes of the drought stem from La Niña, the regular and normal changes to tropical atmospheric circulation that affects wind pressure and rainfall. With that said, scientists believe that climate change is intensifying La Niña and leading to less reliability of rains during this period.
Additionally, much of East Africa and the rest of the world are reliant on Ukraine and Russia for their supply of wheat, with Somalia traditionally sourcing 90% of wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Amidst the conflict, the supply chain has struggled and prices and availability have soared.
We have been monitoring this crisis as it has been developing, and to help alleviate the situation, we have been supporting health clinics provide nutrition assistance. Concern has also been delivering emergency cash transfers to affected communities to help people buy nutritious food.
To strengthen resilience and improve access to adequate and safe water, Concern has been supporting communities by repairing broken boreholes and shallow wells.
To support agriculture, we are vaccinating livestock against diseases in an attempt to keep them alive during the drought.