The drought is catastrophic for affected families already living in extreme poverty. Harvests have failed and millions of livestock are emaciated or dead, pushing people to the brink of starvation and destroying livelihoods. About 5.5 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, and families are taking desperate measures to survive, including leaving their homes and possessions, to find the most basic of human necessities, food and water.
The crisis in Ukraine has exasperated the situation, causing food and energy prices to rocket. This crisis has contributed to the cost of the World Food Programme’s local food basket, and the amount of food required in order to meet people’s essential needs is set to increase dramatically.
Despite the scale of the crisis, just three per cent of the UN’s $6 billion appeal for Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan has been funded, while Kenya has only secured 17.5 per cent of its UN appeal to date.
But there is hope. In the 2016/2017 drought crisis, a quick and substantive global response led to millions of lives being saved. This same approach is needed now.