For months, East Africa has been in the grip of one of the most severe droughts on record. Thousands of communities across the Horn of Africa have been struggling with the effects of losing their livestock in the drought and with parts of Ethiopia now starting to enter a dry season, there is still widespread uncertainty over the future of the region.
Recent rainfall in some parts of the region has been a blessing, replenishing land for grazing and much needed water supplies. However in Somalia, three areas are still declared famine zones whilst another three areas have been reclassified down from famine to emergency status – indicating slow but steady progress.
Many Tearfund partners working in the region are now coming to the end of the initial emergency phase of their responses and are looking ahead at steps that will promote recovery and rehabilitation over the next six months. According to the EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, the food crisis is likely to continue well into the summer of this year and, as such, the Department for International Development (DFID) has warned that millions are still at risk from malnutrition. You can follow the situation online with our East Africa prayer PowerPoint.
Encouraging news however has been forthcoming regarding the Charter to End Extreme Hunger, which Tearfund signed up to at the end of October. The charter was presented to world leaders at the UN, resulting in an increase in much needed donations from governments to the UN appeal for East Africa.