Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are currently experiencing several simultaneous crises, many of them crossing borders between the three countries. These natural and man-made emergencies have broken out in rapid succession as layer upon layer of threats to people's life, health, and livelihoods and with a high cumulative humanitarian impact.
Beginning with the Horn of Africa drought in late 2005 that decimated livestock and stretched resources in the mainly pastoralist and agropastoralist communities in north-eastern Kenya, south Somalia, and south Ethiopia to the limit, the extreme weather crisis changed character with the heavy flooding in the second half of 2006 which affected roughly the same areas. In December 2006, the fighting in Somalia and simultaneous outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Kenya, now feared to be spreading into Somalia, has further exacerbated the already grave situation.
The train of natural and manmade disasters has left little or no time for recovery in between shocks, and the medium and long term consequences for food security and livelihoods are likely to be severe. An immediate consequence is internal and crossborder displacement and the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera and Acute Watery Diarrhoea as well as a generalized lack of access to the affected populations.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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