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14 Jun 2017 description
report IRIN

The humanitarian crisis unleashed by drought in Somalia has again highlighted the close links between extreme weather and food security. But how exactly are the two connected? And what can farmers in developing countries do to lessen the negative effects of climate change? This Q&A provides an overview of the key issues, with a focus on smallholders in Africa.

What is food security?

17 Mar 2017 description
report IRIN

By Obi Anyadike, Editor-at-Large and Africa Editor

Farmers, traders and consumers across East and Southern Africa are feeling the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that have scorched harvests and ruined livelihoods.

Read more on IRIN

22 Feb 2017 description
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Jared Ferrie

An obscure climate phenomenon in the Indian Ocean is contributing to an East Africa drought that is threatening the lives of millions of people, as famine looms.

Read more on IRIN

13 Aug 2014 description
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NAIROBI, 13 August 2014 (IRIN) - Some 20 million people are facing acute food insecurity in eastern and central Africa, with most of them being at “crisis” and “emergency” levels, according to aid agencies. This figure compares unfavorably with 15.8 million people in July 2013.

The affected countries include Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania.

24 Feb 2014 description
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NAIROBI, 24 February 2014 (IRIN) - Since the Horn of Africa drought of 2011 aid agencies have been working to understand the changes taking place in the drylands, hoping to better anticipate people’s needs. Recent research shows these changes go beyond climate and environment to encompass social and economic factors. The findings have important policy implications.

18 Nov 2013 description
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KISUMU, 18 November 2013 (IRIN) - Efforts to stop the spread of polio in the Horn of Africa region are being ramped up with major immunization campaigns underway, targeting millions of vulnerable children.

There have been outbreaks in Kenya and Ethiopia, and more seriously neighbouring Somalia, with 183 cases confirmed this year up to October, according to a snapshot by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

08 Oct 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 8 October 2012 (IRIN) - Above-average seasonal rains in parts of the East and Horn of Africa have affected tens of thousands of people, displacing families and restricting access to many in need, say humanitarian officials. The rains, coming ahead of a possible El Niño event, have prompted fears of further flooding.

27 Mar 2012 description
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HARGEISA, 27 March 2012 (IRIN) - Water scarcity in Tog-Wajale, a town straddling the border between northwest Somalia's self-declared republic of Somaliland and Ethiopia, is threatening the health and livelihoods of locals who cannot afford to buy it.

"One barrel of water [200 litres] was only 20 [Ethiopian] birr [US$1], but the price has now reached about 50 Ethiopian birr [$2.5]," said Ahmed Jama Weirah, a father of seven in Tog-Wajale. "We can't provide for our families... because our earnings are not enough to provide food and water."

29 Feb 2012 description
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KIGALI, 29 February 2012 (IRIN) - Drought is likely to return to Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa over the next three months, say regional climate scientists meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. The forecast comes just weeks after the UN declared the Somali "famine" over.

24 Feb 2012 description
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LONDON, 24 February 2012 (IRIN) - The London Conference on Somalia ended with a seven-point plan aimed at boosting humanitarian aid and support for African Union troops, and tougher action on piracy, but "fell short on the measures required to address the risks faced by civilians", said Amnesty International. [http://world.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201202/82024.php ]

10 Feb 2012 description
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JOHANNESBURG, 10 February 2012 (IRIN) - The climatic conditions linked to the drought in the Horn in 2011 have persisted, and some early warning officials say the aid community should brace themselves for a possible re-run of last year's food crisis.

30 Dec 2011 description
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NAIROB I, 30 December 2011 (IRIN) - Severe drought, [ http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=93426 ] exacerbated by poverty and conflict, hit at least four countries in 2011 - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia - displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

20 Oct 2011 description
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DAKAR, 20 October 2011 (IRIN) - Move away from “food-first” responses and lay more stress on water and livelihoods; intervene early - it saves money and lives: These are a couple of the lessons emerging from the past four years of drought response, according to the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance (ALNAP).

05 Sep 2011 description
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NAIROBI, 5 septembre 2011 (IRIN) - Les organisations humanitaires ont multiplié les appels de fonds afin de venir en aide à plus de 12 millions de personnes qui sont confrontées à de graves pénuries de nourriture dans la Corne de l’Afrique. Les gouvernements donateurs ont contribué à hauteur de plus de 1,46 milliard de dollars sur les 2,48 milliards nécessaires.

11 Aug 2011 description
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NAIROBI, 11 August 2011 (IRIN) - Drought, poor rains and continuing high fuel prices have combined to keep food prices in East Africa high, with consumers forgoing basic staples and many traders being forced to shut down their businesses.

IRIN spoke to residents of seven countries in the region for a sense of how the rising cost of living [ http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=92546 ] was affecting them.

Ethiopia

05 Aug 2011 description
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NAIROBI, 5 August 2011 (IRIN) - The Horn of Africa is facing what has been called the worst drought in 60 years, with an estimated 12.4 million people urgently needing food.

Here are some points about the ongoing food crisis:

29 Jul 2011 description
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GENEVA, 29 July 2011 (IRIN) - The food crisis in the Horn of Africa is likely to continue for most of 2011 and famine is expected to spread to the whole of southern Somalia, the UN said on 29 July.

"The current food security emergency across the region is expected to persist at least for the coming three to four months," the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a new regional overview.

28 Jul 2011 description
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GENEVE, 28 juillet 2011 (IRIN) - Sinistres témoignages de l’ampleur de la crise qui touche plusieurs millions de personnes dans la Corne de l’Afrique, les images d’enfants mourant de faim symbolisent en outre un manque de réactivité, selon les experts de l’humanitaire.

« Il est tout à fait scandaleux que les avertissements n’aient pas été entendus, que les enseignements tirés des famines précédentes aient été ignorés », a dit Barbara Stocking, directrice générale d’Oxfam.

27 Jul 2011 description
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GENEVA, 27 July 2011 (IRIN) - The images of starving children bear grim witness to the extent of the crisis affecting millions of people in the Horn of Africa, but they also symbolize a failure to act in time, say aid experts.

"It is a colossal outrage that the warnings went unheeded, that the lessons of previous famines have been ignored," says Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam.

27 Jul 2011 description
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NAIROBI, 26 July 2011 (IRIN) - After several appeals by the UN and other aid agencies, the international community is rallying to feed an estimated 11.6 million people facing starvation in the Horn of Africa.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, about US$1.1 billion has been committed, while the gap in funding stands at about $1 billion.