WFP seeks 327 mln USD to tackle drought in Horn of Africa-Xinhua

WFP seeks 327 mln USD to tackle drought in Horn of Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2022-02-08 19:52:34|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Programme (WFP) Tuesday launched its regional drought response plan for the Horn of Africa, calling for 37.15 billion shillings (about 327 million U.S. dollars) to tackle severe drought in the region.

Michael Dunford, regional director in the WFP Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa, said the funds will be used to respond to the immediate needs of about 4.5 million people over the next six months and help communities become more resilient to extreme climate shocks.

"The situation requires immediate humanitarian action and consistent support to build the resilience of communities for the future," Dunford said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

WFP warned that the Horn of Africa is experiencing the driest conditions recorded since 1981, with severe drought leaving an estimated 13 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia facing severe hunger in the first quarter of this year.

It said three consecutive failed rainy seasons have decimated crops and caused abnormally high livestock deaths.

According to WFP, shortages of water and pasture are forcing families from their homes and leading to increased conflicts between communities.

"Harvests are ruined, livestock are dying, and hunger is growing as recurrent droughts affect the Horn of Africa," Dunford said.

WFP said further forecasts of below-average rainfall are threatening to worsen and compound dire conditions in the coming months.

It said the drought has impacted pastoral and farmer populations across southern and southeastern Ethiopia, southeastern and northern Kenya and south-central Somalia.

According to WFP, the impacts are compounded by increases in staple food prices, inflation, and low demand for agricultural labor.

It said malnutrition rates also remain high across the region and could worsen if no immediate action is taken.

"As needs across the Horn of Africa grow, immediate assistance is critical to avoid a major humanitarian crisis," WFP said.