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IOM East and Horn of Africa: Drought Response

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SITUATION OVERVIEW

With four consecutive failed rains, the Horn of Africa is facing one of its most severe droughts with more than 18.5 million people acutely food insecure in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Due to below-average rainfall in the current rainy season (March – May 2022), the numbers are expected to rise, making this the longest drought in the Horn of Africa in at least four decades, according to OCHA. Soaring food prices are also causing a serious food security crisis resulting in high malnutrition rates.

Nearly 70% of the IGAD region comprises arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) which are prone to recurrent droughts and are inhabited by 230 million people, mostly pastoral and agropastoral communities who depend on livestock production.

In the context of resources scarcity and livelihoods losses, there has been an increase in localized conflict over cattle rustling, dry waterpoints for livestock, crowding at limited water points, among others. Food prices are also rising in many drought-affected areas, due to a combination of macroeconomic challenges, below-average harvests and rising prices in international markets.

Risks of gender-based violence (GBV) including sexual violence, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence and female genital mutilation are increasing as a consequence of this crisis. In some communities, child marriage has reportedly risen, with families marrying-off young girls to decrease demands on their own resources and acquire money they can use for food and other necessities (OCHA).

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) trends show early migrations to areas that received rainfall and that pastures are expected to be depleted faster.

While IOM is actively responding to the drought affected populations, needs are rapidly outpacing capacities, due to limited resources. Prioritization continues to drive the response; Humanitarian partners, authorities and local communities have prioritized responses, re-programmed activities and scaled up assistance to meet staggeringly increased needs. IOM also prioritizes the delivery of durable solutions, peacebuilding and community cohesion programming, in support of early recovery and development goals based on a highly contextualized understanding of local, rapidly evolving drivers of instability, within IOM’s Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus (HDPN) framework, which is in adherence to the OECD DAC Recommendation on HDPN. Sustained humanitarian assistance, improved humanitarian access to conflict-affected areas and urgent additional funding for priority sectors, are needed to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods and to avert the risk of famine.

People in need

18.5 Million People acutely food insecure in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia

70% Nearly 70% of the IGAD region comprises ASALs which are prone to recurrent droughts and are inhabited by 230 million people

At the regional and country level IOM works in close coordination with its UN sister agencies and other humanitarian actors. This document presents the respective country contexts and IOM sectors of intervention.