An estimated 12 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in East Africa .
Aid agencies in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya have reported high rates of acute malnutrition as well as large numbers of livestock deaths and other indicators of livelihood distress.
Numerous factors, including drought, the protracted conflict in Somalia, rising food prices, seasonal floods and localised resource conflicts are contributing to a deepening crisis.
Six regions in Somalia have been declared famine areas, and many thousands of people from Somalia continue to flee across borders, seeking protection from both drought and conflict, and highlighting the dual nature of this emergency as both a food security and refugee crisis.
Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International, The Sphere Project, the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), and People In Aid, in a bid to work more coherently, under an agreement made in July 2011 decided to collaborate for a joint deployment to the Horn of Africa for the ongoing famine response. The emergency which with its complex scale and size, covering a number of countries and involving multiple actors, necessitated an assessment mission prior to a full scale deployment. The mission was conducted in between 15 -23 August, 2011 in Nairobi, to ensure that an integrated approach to quality and accountability was developed with a collaboration with the existing regional expertise.