International response

Aid agencies called for 2.5 billion dollars to handle this crisis, but so far have said only half that amount. The European Union has announced it will provide 5.67 million Euros to help millions of people in the Horn of Africa affected by drought. On 16 July, the UK government committed itself to 52.25 million pounds on 38 million pounds had already committed earlier this month and more than 13 million raised by the Disasters Emergency Committee. On July 23 the Canadian government pledged 50 million in addition to the 22 million already committed.

United States pledged 5 million dollars more to help refugees from Somalia on a previous budget of $ 63 million for general support to the region of East Africa. However, the U.S. has withheld aid in the region of Somalia, due to recent regulations that prevent food aid sent to risk "materially benefit" to designated terrorists, in this case the rebel group Al-Shabaab. The regulations went into effect after reports that the group Al-Shabaab was "by taxing the convoys of food," as a result of U.S. aid in Somalia has been reduced from $ 150 million to $ 13 million this year. Mercy Corps said: "Relief efforts continue to be wholly inadequate if legal restrictions force the U.S. to stay out. "


In early July, the World Food Program UN said it expects 10 million people across the region need food aid; the previous estimate was six million. On 12 July the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an urgent meeting with the heads of UN agencies. He stated after the meeting that should take immediate action to prevent the crisis deepens. According to Ban, "The human toll of this crisis is catastrophic. We cannot afford to wait."


The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has begun a "massive" air transport of relief supplies to Dadaab region, including 100 tons of tents to help the already congested and overcrowded Dadaab camps. The UN took his first food airlift after two years in southern Somalia on 13 July. The health kits have been sent by land routes. Along with other measures undertaken by aid agencies are distributing the cash voucher to residents and discuss with traders to freeze food prices rising.


On July 19 the president of Somalia Ahmed Sharif Sheid declared the famine in the country, and called for an urgent need for donations from foreign countries and individuals. On 20 July, the UN officially declared the famine in two southern regions of Somalia, Shabeellaha Hoose and Bakool. This is the first time the UN has declared a famine since the Ethiopian famine of 1984, when about 1 million died. The famine was declared in response to new data on the drive for food security and nutrition analysis the UN, which showed that the situation in southern Somalia had all three characteristics of a widespread famine: 1) more than 30% of children suffering from acute malnutrition, 2) more than two adults or four children dying of hunger every day per 10 000 people, 3) the population having access to less than 2100 calories of food and a gallon of water per day.


In the statement, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, declare that UN agencies lack the necessary capacity in terms of clean water, food, shelter and health services to save the lives of hundreds of thousands affected by drought in Somalia, and that about $ 300 million in relief supplies are required for the next two months. Bowden notes that, given the low yields and the emergence of infectious diseases caused by prolonged drought, famine spread to the rest of southern Somalia in the next two months if aid remains inadequate.


On 27 July, the World Food Program UN announced it has begun the airlift food to Somalia. Ten tons of foods were taken to Mogadishu, with plans to expand delivery to southern Somalia where millions remain inaccessible and too weak to cross the border to Kenya. Delivering food to the region remains difficult due to the refusal of the group Al-Shabaab which does not allow some foreign aid agencies working in the country.


According to the FAO


The food crisis in the Horn of Africa is increasing, with 12 million people in Djiboutian, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda in need of urgent help. Some areas in southern Somalia suffer from famine.

During the past year, the region has experienced two seasons of poor rains, resulting in one of the driest years since 1950/51.

The situation has worsened due to the high price of corn locally, excessive livestock mortality, conflict and limited access to humanitarian aid in some areas.

Create resilience in the agricultural sector will be one of the central strategies of survival for the region.

About 80 percent of the population in the Horn of Africa depends on agriculture as their main source of food and income.

FAO will focus its interventions in the Horn of Africa in the following fields:

  • Increased access to water through the rehabilitation and construction of water points
  • Provision of vital agricultural inputs, such as drought-resistant seeds, animal feed, fodder and water for livestock (including the innovative use of coupons and other market-based mechanisms)
  • Transfers of cash to mitigate the rising prices of basic foodstuffs and prevent the sale at any price of productive assets, as well as help pay immediately with cash activities
  • Control and surveillance of diseases and pests of plants and animals to protect vital assets for livelihoods
  • Improving community practices of water management and training of farmers in improved systems of crop and livestock production in arid
  • Investing in post-crisis early recovery to restore livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of families to the fluctuations in the future.

See Also:


Details about Food crisis in the Horn of Africa - Part 1

Details about Food crisis in the Horn of Africa - Part 2 Android app