With below average rains experienced across the region, some locations in the Horn of Africa are expected to continue to drive humanitarian needs for the next six months. A weak La Niña will likely persist into the second quarter of 2018, which is historically associated with below average rainfall.
According to experts who spoke in the 48th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum, La Niña could trigger severe hunger and lack of water for both humans and livestock, potentially increase conflict between communities over scarce resources and could increased migrations.
According to FSNAU/FEWSNET, over 2.7 million people in Somalia face crisis or emergency between February and June 2018. The National Disaster Preparedness and Food Authority declared a drought emergency in areas of Somaliland facing acute food crisis. Prior to the declaration, an appeal had been issued for urgent humanitarian assistance for over 600,000 drought affected people in Puntland.
A total of 8.3 million children (Somalia 2.8 million, Kenya 1.8 million and Ethiopia 3.7 million) are in need of humanitarian assistance. 1.2 million children, pregnant and lactating women are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition which has reached emergency levels in some locations with 656,614 children below the age of 5 suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
In Ethiopia, renewed inter-communal fighting between the Oromos and Somalis along the borders of their two states, Oromia and Somali Region that started in August 2017 has displaced an estimated 1.1 million people to date. A flare-up in the fighting in January 2018 is likely to increase the number of displaced people.
Cases of Acute of Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) are expected to increase in the first six months of 2018 in the region. This is due to the prolonged drought that has led to widespread child malnutrition, mass displacement, and a lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
The Governments of Ethiopia and Kenya allocated USD 182 million and KSH 3.8 billion respectively to rehabilitate people affected by drought in their countries. Around the same period, the Government of Japan extended the Emergency Grant Aid of USD 9 million for people affected by drought and conflict in Somalia.
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