Horn of Africa and East Africa food crisis - 2008

from Oxfam
Published on 22 Jul 2008 View Original
Large areas of the Horn and East Africa are facing a state of humanitarian emergency with more than 14 million people requiring urgent food aid and other humanitarian assistance over the coming months.

The situation

- Millions of people are at risk: 4.6 million people in Ethiopia, 2.6 million people in Somalia, 1.2 million in Kenya, 300,000 people in Uganda's Karamoja Region, and 130,000 people in Djibouti (Tanzania is also affected).

- Widespread threat to livelihoods among landless, pastoralist and internally displaced communities

- Risk of disease in drought-affected areas with poor hygiene and sanitation

" The situation is much much worse than it has been for a very long time. Lives and livelihoods are under threat and the rates of malnutrition are scary - the combination of existing drought and conflict topped up with skyrocketing food prices are aggravating an already serious situation and tipping people into crisis." Jeremy Loveless, Oxfam

Why is this happening?

A combination of drought conditions and rising food prices is driving the crisis which is affecting populations already food insecure due to conflict, displacement and a drop in food production.

The emergency is made worse by the erosion of livelihoods among the landless, pastoralists, internally displaced persons and the urban poor across the region. The poor March-May rains, have caused food security to deteriorate to high or extreme levels in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.

Because the effects of the poor March-May rains will persist with the onset of the dry season in most pastoral areas of these countries, the size of the affected population may increase further between now and at least October 2008. High commodity prices, due to high international fuel prices, high costs for inputs, and transportation are making the situation worse.

What is Oxfam Canada doing?

Oxfam Canada has programming in Ethiopia, Sudan and all three regions of Somalia - Somaliland, Puntland and South/Central Somalia. We support other Oxfam affiliate programming (development and humanitarian) in Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South and Central Somalia.