Somalia + 2 more

Horn of Africa: Humanitarian Impacts of Drought – Issue 11 (3 November 2017)



Drought-related displacement of people and livestock continues. In Somalia, some 943,000 people have been internally displaced due to the drought from November 2016 to 22 October 2017, according to preliminary figures, while some 168,000 people have been displaced by conflict in 2017. The drought has also resulted in abnormal migration of livestock, with pastoral households from several regions in Somalia having migrated with their livestock to the coastal areas of Bari regions in search of pasture and water. In Ethiopia, nearly 1.1 million people had been internally displaced as at the end of August 2017, including some 423,914 displaced as a result of the drought. In Kenya, 15,957 children had reportedly been displaced by the drought as at the end of June 2017, out of a total of 39,256 people displaced due to conflict and drought in the year to date. There are also reports that some pastoralists from Northern Kenya migrated with their livestock to neighbouring Lower Juba in Somalia, which received better Gu season (April-June) rainfall.


Drought and displacement continue to drive malnutrition. In Ethiopia, the Government and partners are responding to the deteriorating nutrition situation in the Somali region, where a Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme (BSFP) will target an initial 300,000 children under-5 and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) in seven zones where there is a high probability for a continued escalation in need. In Somalia, some 1.2 million children are projected to be malnourished over the next one year period and services have been provided to more than 206,700 children affected by severe acute malnutrition this year. Displacement due to conflict and drought continues to impact on children’s nutrition. More than half of the children treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in UNICEF supported facilities are from districts hosting IDPs. In Kenya, of the 420,674 children requiring treatment for acute malnutrition, 370,000 are in the drought-affected ASAL areas. The ongoing nurses’ strike is hampering the response to nutrition in drought-affected areas. In recent weeks, there has been a significant decline in the treatment of children requiring advanced care for severe malnutrition because referral and stabilization centres have remain closed.


15 million people are now severely food insecure in the Horn of Africa, with more rains required in Somalia to reverse drought conditions. In Somalia, some 3.1 million people remain severely food insecure and humanitarian partners are closely following what could become another failed rainy season in a context of continued risk of famine and deteriorating humanitarian indicators. The Deyr rainy season, which usually runs from October to December, kicked off in the last week of September in the northeastern areas and second week of October in southern and central regions. However, isolated areas remain dry, including in Lower Juba, and rainfall deficits have been recorded in portions of Somaliland, Puntland and the central regions. In Ethiopia, 8.5 million people are severely food insecure. Given the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian context in the country, a ‘National Integrated Food-Cash Relief Plan’ has been developed, which represents an integrated and prioritized approach to delivering food relief and cash to the 8.5 million people targeted under the joint Government-humanitarian partners Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) and 4 million former Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) clients. In Kenya, 3.4 million people are now estimated to be facing severe food insecurity (IPC 3 or above), with 800,000 people initially classified as ‘stressed’ (IPC 2) from July to September deteriorating into Phase 3 in October, per the Long Rains Assessment projection. In Turkana, West Pokot, and Baringo, above average off-season rains since September have contributed to improvements in availability of water and pasture for livestock. However, in the northern rift valley, persistent heavy rains into October have constrained harvesting and drying of maize crops.


Measles cases rise in Somalia and Ethiopia, while number of AWD and/or Cholera cases declines. In Somalia, more than 18,000 cases of measles were recorded between January and September 2017; four times the number of cases reported during the same period in 2015 and 2016. Most recently, 12 suspected cases were reported at an IDP settlement in Waajid district, Bakool region. A nationwide campaign to vaccinate 4.2 million children is planned for November-December. Meanwhile, there has been a significant reduction in new AWD/cholera cases in Somalia over the past three months, with no deaths reported during this period. To date, 77,783 cholera cases and 1,159 deaths have been reported in 2017. In Ethiopia, 3,151 measles cases have been reported and four districts in the Oromia (Babile and Jima Spe town, East Hararge zone) and Somali (Afder and Warder) regions reached the measles outbreak threshold in September. Close to 48,000 AWD cases have been reported to date in 2017. However, all regions except the Somali region have reported a decreasing AWD trend. A resurgence of AWD cases is nonetheless possible in Amhara, Oromia and Tigray if the scale of the AWD prevention and control measures are not maintained. In Kenya, cholera case numbers have stabilized in recent weeks. However, four counties (Garissa, Nairobi, Embu and Kajiado) are still reporting active cholera cases and the case fatality rate has increased. Some 3,304 cholera cases and 60 deaths have been reported to date in 2018, with a CFR of 1.8 per cent. A suspected malaria outbreak is affecting three wards in Marasbit (Durkana, North Horr and Loiyangalani), with 1,009 cases, including 25 deaths, reported to date. Health authorities in Kenya are on high alert following the confirmation of an outbreak of Marburg disease virus in Uganda.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit