The number of food insecure people in the region is expected to increase by 83 per cent, from approximately 12 million people at the start of 2015, to 22.1 million people by the start of 2016. In addition, between 2.7 million and 3.5 million people could be affected by oods.
In Ethiopia, food and nutrition needs have already increased from 2.9 million at the beginning of 2015 to 8.2 million today. Some 15 million people will likely require food assistance in early 2016.
Severe and moderate acute malnutrition among children has significantly increased in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and this trend is likely to persist over the coming months. For countries expected to be hit by drought, immediate scaling up of preventive and curative nutrition programmes targeting both the moderate and severely malnourished is critical.
Governments and humanitarian partners are racing against the clock to prepare for floods caused by El Niño. Sub-national preparedness, prioritization, stockpiles and logistics are key.
Regional coordination to address cross-border aspects of floods and droughts, such as displacement and humanitarian access, and livestock vaccination should be a priority.
At least US$451million is required to ensure preparedness and response to El Niño affected people in Ethiopia ($174m shortfall up to the end of the year, $237m for prepositioning),
Somalia ($30m) and Kenya ($10m). This comes on top of the existing Humanitarian Response Plans in the region, which have a collective funding gap of around $2.8 billion. Humanitarian funding assigned for 2016 should be brought forward to allow for prepositioning, existing development funding should be reviewed for potential re-programming if needed and a crisis modier approach should be adopted.
Disaster risk reduction and preparedness activities should continue beyond this predicted El Niño period. The region is prone to oods and drought even outside El Niño years. Historic patterns also show that a La Niña event sometimes follows a El Niño, with an even greater overall humanitarian impact as coping capacities are eroded. An El Niña event, should it materialize immediately after this El Niño, will lead to a further deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the region.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.