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- Security Council Press Statement on Developments in Horn of Africa Region
- Eritrea: Peace deal could offer hope for reforms, including three key steps, says UN expert
- Along with Peace, Eritreans Need Repression to End
Following the famine in Somalia, this virtual issue of Disasters brings together a number of seminal articles on previous famines in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere. The collection includes articles by world class scholars on early warning systems, targeting of emergency food aid, effectiveness of famine response, interface between war and famine, malnutrition, disease and mortality in times of famine and discussion of the definition of 'famine'. It is hoped that this rich literature, spanning almost 30 years, can be of help in informing the current response.
The traditional image of life in tented, sprawling camps no longer tells the full refugee story. As the world urbanises, refugees too are increasingly moving to built up areas - including large towns and cities. Today, almost half of the world's 10.5 million refugees reside in urban areas, with only one-third in camps (UNHCR, 2009). Refugees move to the city in the hope of finding a sense of community, safety and economic independence. However, in reality, what many actually find is harassment, physical assault and poverty.
The effects of climate change on the drylands of the Horn of Africa pose particular and difficult policy challenges. The arid climate together with the poverty faced by its inhabitants mean that the higher temperatures, intensifying rains and increasingly frequent extreme weather events that climate science projects for the region can only exacerbate the problems of development.
Yet again, drought has hit the Greater Horn of Africa. The UN estimates that at least 11 million people in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in crisis, making this the region's worst drought in a decade. The impact has been most severe in pastoral areas on the Ethiopia-Kenya-Somalia border, with reports of malnutrition levels far beyond emergency thresholds, (1) livestock losses of up to 70% (2) and the mass migration of pastoralists in search of water, food, jobs and relief aid.