Worsening Food Security Looms in The Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa Food Shortage

More than 16 million people in the Horn of Africa will spend the New Year in appalling conditions due to the worsening food security situation in the region. Estimates and reports from UN agencies, African governments and relief charities say the number at risk can no longer cope with such extreme and protracted situations. Climate change remains top on the list as the region comes to terms with the worsening series of severe droughts.

The drought has sparked resource wars among communities, mostly pastoral ones that dominate the dry patches. The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) has expressed its concern over the wanting situation in the region. “We face a disastrous situation in the Horn of Africa that demonstrates the terrible potential of climate change. This crisis, which is happening now, underlines why it is so important to reach agreement in Copenhagen”, says Mr De Gucht, European Commissioner in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid in a statement. The E.U., as the biggest aid donor to the Horn region, is living up to its responsibility by boosting its humanitarian response.

Large parts of the Horn have had less than 75% of normal rainfall this year, having already endured a series of severe droughts. Uganda, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia have benefited to almost €150 million in 2009 from aid agencies. Insecurity, climatic changes and political tensions have been earmarked as the key causes of some of the dire challenges affecting the people.

ECHO reports that it’s providing 50 million Euros in humanitarian aid to vulnerable drought-affected people in Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Ethiopia stands to receive €25 million, Somalia: €7 million, Kenya: €13 million while Uganda will receive €5 million. An Oxfam report explains that the drought in the Wajir region of northern Kenya has become so severe that even the camels are being affected. Aid agencies are doubling efforts as governments draw in the fight to safe its citizens.

© 2009, Suleiman Mbatiah. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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