Somalia + 4 more

WFP East & Central Africa Horn of Africa Drought Crisis Situation Report #1, 6 February 2017

Situation Report
Originally published



  • The drought in the Horn of Africa is generating a humanitarian crisis in Somalia, with urgent needs also in Kenya and Ethiopia. The number of people in crisis and emergency food insecurity levels (Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) 3 or above) now stands at 11.2 million people, with 2.9 million in Somalia, 5.6 million in Ethiopia, and 2.7 million in Kenya.

  • Global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels among children aged 6-59 months, pregnant women and nursing mothers remain a serious concern. Levels of over 25 percent GAM are being reported in some parts of Somalia.

  • Governments are leading the planning, implementation and funding of the drought response in Kenya and Ethiopia, with support from humanitarian and development partners.

  • This drought is evolving against a backdrop of escalating needs in South Sudan, with over 5 million people also in need of urgent assistance. This is in addition to over 1.2 million South Sudanese refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries.

Situation Update

  • The deteriorating food security situation follows the effects of the 2015/2016 El Nino weather event, which caused drought leading to consecutive failed harvests. The situation is expected to deteriorate over the coming weeks as a weak La Niña event and a negative Indian Ocean Dipole have led to delayed and erratic rainfall in large parts of the region, most notably in southern Somalia, southern Ethiopia and parts of Kenya.

  • Pasture and water resources are critically low across the region, resulting in significant livestock deaths and crop production losses in Ethiopia,
    Somalia and northern and coastal Kenya.

  • In drought affected areas, cereal prices are rising, while livestock prices and casual labor wage levels are both decreasing due to poor livestock conditions and limited agricultural labor opportunities. As a result, household purchasing power is falling sharply.

  • Inter-communal conflict is expected to rise in drought-affected areas as pastoralists trek further afield with their animals looking for water and grazing. Distress migration is being reported between Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.

  • There is growing pressure on the grain markets in Uganda as regional traders face diminishing availability, following the export bans that have taken effect in Tanzania and Kenya.