A man (C) fetches his drinking water after his emaciated cattles drunk water from one of the few water pans left with water in the drought-stricken region of Kwangite, in Ganze, in Kilifi County, 07 October 2021. EFE/EPA/Daniel Irungu

Millions caught in hunger emergency in Horn of Africa, warns UN

Nairobi, May 24 (EFE).- Millions of people in the Horn of Africa are facing emergency levels of hunger as the region suffers from one crisis after another, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Wednesday.

Among the crises gripping the region are the devastating floods that followed the worst drought in four decades, high food and energy prices and the impact of the conflict in Sudan, according to the WFP statement.

“Conflict, climate extremes and economic shocks – the Horn of Africa region is facing multiple crises simultaneously,” said WFP regional director for Eastern Africa Michael Dunford. “And now the outbreak of conflict in Sudan is forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.”

More than 23 million people are suffering extreme hunger in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia after three years of drought, while mortality and malnutrition rates remain “a serious cause for concern,” according to the UN agency.

Consecutive poor harvests and high transportation costs also have pushed food prices beyond the means of millions of people in the region.

According to the WFP, the region faces a long road to recovery and humanitarian aid is a “lifeline.”

The conflict in Sudan has affected the already limited resources in the region, as it has forced more than 250,000 people to flee to neighboring countries such as Ethiopia and South Sudan, already hunger hotspots.

“Without sustainable funding for both emergency and climate-adaptation solutions, the next climate crisis could bring the region back to the brink of famine,” Dunford pointed out.

WFP highlighted that it “urgently” needs $810 million over the next six months to “keep life-saving assistance going and invest in long-term resilience in the Horn of Africa.”EFE