Home NewsAfrica Catastrophe looms for the Horn of Africa

Catastrophe looms for the Horn of Africa

by Haruna Gimba

By Haruna Gimba

Millions of children are at risk from one of the worst climate-induced emergencies in decades.

Four consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, sharp increases in food prices, and conflict have pushed children and families in the Horn of Africa to the brink of climate change-induced catastrophe.  

Exceptional drought across large swathes of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and Djibouti has unleashed hunger, thirst, displacement and death on already vulnerable communities as crops fail and livestock die.

By early October 2022, some 8.5 million people – 4.2 million of them children – were facing severe water shortages, while 20 million required immediate food assistance as a result of the drought.  

Communities have been forced to take extreme measures to survive, with thousands of children and families leaving their homes out of pure desperation in search of water, food, pasture, and treatment for sick children.

The situation continues to deteriorate, exacerbating a climate-induced crisis that was already depriving children of the essentials of childhood – enough to eat, safe water, school, health services.  

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is scaling-up the procurement and positioning of essential lifesaving supplies, building on its longstanding presence in the region and working with partners to expand critical services. 

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