Throughout the region, heavy rains that intensified in late April have resulted in excessive flooding, affecting more than half a million people; damaging infrastructure and livelihoods and caused over 370 deaths. Although the rains have also brought relief to some areas that have been affected by the worst drought in decades, namely; parts of Ethiopia, Puntland, Somaliland and a number of countries in southern Africa, the food security situation in these areas is not expected to significantly improve, due to the scale and intensity of the El Nino-induced drought that has already depleted coping mechanisms.
The April 2016 FSNWG update indicates that approximately 19.9 million people in the Horn of Africa (HOA) region, are facing crisis (IPC 3) and emergency (IPC 4) food insecurity levels and are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Across southern Africa, an estimated 31.6 million people are already food insecure and while the meagre April/May 2016 harvest will temporarily improve food access in parts of the region over the short term, food security is likely to begin deteriorating by July, reaching its peak between December 2016 and April 2017.
The flooding conditions have also increased the risk of communicable diseases, in a region that is battling critical vector-borne disease outbreaks, including cholera, measles, yellow-fever and acute watery diarrhoea.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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