Horn of Africa Drought Situation Report #8: 1 March to April 30 2023 Featured

The humanitarian crisis in the region continues to deepen affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Currently, 22.2- 22.7 million people are in highly food insecure (IPC Phase 3+).

In Kenya, northern counties (Turkana, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir and Garissa) are projected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between March and June 2023. For Somalia, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is no longer considered the most likely scenario, however, agropastoralist population in Burkhaba district and IDP settlements in Baidoa and Banadir face a Risk of Famine if the 2023 Gu rains are worse than forecasted and assistance does not reach the most vulnerable. 

Although IPC analysis is not possible in Ethiopia at the moment, IPC compatible analysis demonstrates that in southern Ethiopia some areas are within IPC Phase 3 and 4 between March and June 2023.

The forecast shows improved rainfall during the past weeks and upcoming first weeks of May, however, vegetative conditions remain well below-average. This will continue to cause flash flooding and create difficulties for crop farmers to conduct land preparations.

* Forecast for May rainfall indicate wetter than normal conditions expected in south-eastern Ethiopia and much of Somalia.
* Cooler than average temperatures expected over cross border areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia during the month of May.

The drought has forcibly displaced up to 2.28 million internally displaced across the region. Highest displacement has been witnessed in Somalia accounting for approximately 1,400,000 IDPs followed by Ethiopia. It is expected for these figures to continue rising throughout the first half of 2023 causing increased congestion rates at IDP sites and tensions between communities.

Water insecurity continues to increase the risks of disease and protection. Dehydration, water-borne diseases (including Cholera), water-washed diseases (skin infections, trachoma), and malnutrition are present across the three countries. Number of people with highest deprivation/severity of water cannot be calculated at this time, however, the WASH clusters in all countries are working with partners to sharpen the targeting and figures.

Staple food prices are beginning to decline from their peak in February/March 2023, however the are still significantly above average in the region as a result of low national and regional cereal production, high prices for food, fuel and agricultural inputs. The protracted and active armed conflicts will still cause increase in staple food prices in the medium term, increase inflation and cause severe micro-economic challenges to market systems.

The drought has created a severe protection crisis with frontline/community-based partners across the three countries reporting the lack of capacity needed to deliver services that meet global standards of care for GBV assistance. This creates major gaps in service delivery. It is reported that marginalized communities including those in hard to reach areas across the three countries are not receiving assistance and targeting by humanitarian agencies delivering critical life-saving assistance must ensure targeting is fit for purpose.

Source: reliefweb