Secondary Data Review: Horn of Africa
Date of publication: 26 July 2011
Prepared by: ACAPS, Geneva
Nature of the crisis: Drought/Complex emergency
This document focuses specifically on the impact of the drought on Somalia and resulting displacement of Somali affected population. According to needs, this document may be followed by an SDR on other affected areas, including Ethiopia and Kenya.
About this document: This Secondary Data Review is a desk study in which estimates of scale, severity and likely impact of a natural or man-induced disaster are determined. The document aims to inform decision making for preparedness and emergency response. Information has been gathered through a review of secondary data, contact with individuals working in the field, use of lessons learned and experience from past similar crises or disasters. The SDR is intended to complement assessment-related information that OCHA and other agencies are producing and feedback is welcome on how this document can be improved (Operations@acaps.org). ECB and ACAPS thank agencies and NGOs who have shared the data and analysis which made this report possible. Disclaimer: Information provided is provisional as it has not all been independently verified. As this report covers highly dynamic subject, the accuracy of the information may decrease with time.
The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 20 years following two consecutive failed rainy seasons (2010-2011). An estimated 12 million people lack access to food and are unable to meet basic survival needs. Emergency levels of acute malnutrition are widespread (FEWS 24/7). UN officials say that in recent months, perhaps tens of thousands of people have already died (AFP 24/7). The most severely drought affected countries are Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
The worst affected country is Somalia. 3.7 million people, nearly half the Somali population, are now in crisis. Of these, 2.8 million are in the eight southern regions (DFID 25/07) The UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) declared on 20 July that the crisis in the Lower Shabelle and Bakool regions of southern Somalia has reached the famine threshold. Other areas of southern Somalia remain in a state of emergency (IPC Phase 4). Without a major scaling up of humanitarian response famine is expected to spread across all regions of the south in the coming one to two months. (FEWS 23/07). Drought and conflict has led to the displacement of an estimated 1.7 million Somalis, of whom 1.5 million are displaced within Somalia, and 170,000 have crossed international borders into neighbouring countries.
More than 4.5 million people are affected by the drought in Ethiopia and 3.5 million people in Kenya. Local resources are further strained by the continuous influx of Somali refugees (UNICEF 24/7, UNHCR 20/7).
The emergency is likely to last through the coming 3-4 months, with below average rainfall forecast. The humanitarian response to the drought is hampered by a lack of humanitarian access to several of the affected areas and by limited reliable data.