Up to 30 million people are expected to require humanitarian food assistance in five Eastern African countries including Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
This is according to the latest Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)’s Regional Focus of the Global Report on Food Crises 2023.
An estimated 7.5 million people in Kenya, Somalia, South-Sudan, and Sudan are projected to face large food consumption gaps and adopt emergency coping measures. The report reveals.
On the other hand, more than 83,000 individuals are anticipated to face extreme lack of food, this being so apparent in the most severe drought and conflict-affected areas of the region, particularly in Somalia and South Sudan.
Recent clashes in Sudan are reported to further exacerbate the already poor food insecurity situation.
According to the report, Horn of Africa’s worst drought in more than four decades will continue to unleash its catastrophic consequences in 2023 and beyond.
The recovery of pastoral and agro pastoral livelihoods from the devastating three-year drought will take years and humanitarian assistance continues to be critical until households and communities can recover.
In Sudan, the impact of the ongoing conflict on food availability and access is expected to drive a rapid deterioration in the food security and nutrition situation, with Khartoum and the region of Darfur most affected.
More than 1 million people had fled their homes with around 843 000 people newly displaced internally while over 250,000 people were faced to seek abode in neighboring countries.
“The conflict in Sudan is sending hunger shockwaves across an already fragile region, as hundreds of thousands of people continue fleeing to neighboring countries – pushing up already alarming food insecurity and malnutrition levels, and further stretching scarce humanitarian resources,”Rukia Yacoub – The World Food Program’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
The urgency and magnitude of the challenges that the Eastern Africa region faces calls for immediate and coordinated action to alleviate the suffering of millions affected by acute food insecurity, as stated in the Inter-governmental authority on development (IGAD) communiqué on the process of addressing food crises in the region.
Dr Chimimba David Phiri, is the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization Sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and Representative to the African Union and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
Dr Phiri stated that the report should serve as a wake-up call for immediate and collective action to change ways of working to address the root causes of food insecurity.
“The recent three-year drought across the Horn of Africa highlights the urgent need to upscale and institutionalize anticipatory action and climate adaptation strategies to prevent, rather than just respond to, future climate emergencies.”