The August 2015 FSNWG update reports indicate that approximately 19.2 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa are facing crisis and emergency food insecurity and are in urgent need of assistance.
Notwithstanding the work that is being done on strengthening resilience in the region, and coping with and preparing for disasters; the food security and nutrition situation have continued to be aggravated by conflicts and climatic shocks, leading to crisis and emergency levels in many areas of the region, even though the situation shows improvement for some areas as compared to August 2014.
The FSNWG therefore urges immediate and coordinated planning by governments, donors and all concerned stakeholders to respond to the life and livelihood threatening situation. The following actions should be urgently undertaken:
o Governments, partners and donors to urgently operationalize contingency and early response planning to the current food and nutrition security situation in the region.
o El Niño will most likely lead to flooding in coastal and other flood-prone areas within the equatorial sector; and below normal to normal rains in the northern sector of the Greater Horn of Africa. The FSNWG therefore recommends that:
In the flood prone areas: conduct adequate sensitization of communities; prepositioning of humanitarian and livelihood assistance; strengthening of surveillance systems for health, nutrition, water and sanitation; ensuring repair and maintenance of soil conservation; activating national Rift Valley Fever task forces; intensifying vector and disease surveillance; and increasing awareness and immediately vaccinating cattle in all Rift Valley Fever-prone areas.
In those areas where El Niño is expected to lead to above average rainfall, communities should be encouraged to maximize production through timely provision of appropriate agricultural inputs, and other livelihood promotion activities.
In the areas expected to be drier than normal particularly in the northern sector: promotion of water-harvesting infrastructures; providing capacity building on prevention of postharvest losses and advocating for replenishment of community and national grain reserves, scaling up nutrition treatment and services to save lives, strengthening of health and nutrition education programmes and continuous monitoring of the situation should be priority.
FSNWG calls upon governments and regional (inter-governmental) organizations to take the lead and bring development partners and humanitarian agencies together to jointly respond to the current situation. The above recommendations are a result of the main drivers of this crisis described below.