One of the worst droughts in a generation is currently unfolding in the Horn of Africa, combined with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, exponentially high food prices, desert locusts and protracted armed conflict. Over 15 million people across Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya – about half of them children – are already on the verge of starvation. Furthermore, the conflict in Ukraine is set to worsen catastrophic levels of hunger in the coming months.
5.7 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished and families are taking extreme measures to survive across the region, with women and girls often eating the last and the least. Nearly 745,000 people in Somalia have already been displaced this year in search of water, food, and pasture.
Whilst we welcome the UK Government’s uplift of £25 million for Somalia at the High-level Roundtable today, we are disappointed that this falls well under its fair share of urgent funding to prevent starvation and death for millions across the Horn of Africa.
We’re calling on the UK Government to urgently commit £750m of new and additional humanitarian and development funding to ensure that we do not see a repeat of 2011, during which, the Horn saw the worst hunger crisis this century resulting in the deaths of over a quarter of a million people.
The worst impacts of the crisis are preventable if we act now. This means scaling up adequate funding for anticipation, immediate response and livelihood recovery. We urge the UK Government to galvanise the international community and commit to providing the necessary funding to tackle this crisis.
Action Against Hunger UK
Care International UK
Concern Worldwide UK
International Rescue Committee
Norwegian Refugee Council
Plan International UK
Save the Children UK
World Vision UK
Notes to Editors:
The High-Level Roundtable on the Horn of Africa Drought was co-hosted by the European Union and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It took place in Geneva on Tuesday 26 April 2022 from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm (EAT)