Eastern Horn of Africa Drought and Famine

Eastern Horn of Africa Drought and Famine

2011 marks the driest period in the Eastern Horn of Africa region since 1995, with the lowest level of rainfall in more than 50 years.

2011 year marks the driest period in the
Eastern Horn of Africa region since 1995, with the lowest level of
rainfall in more than 50 years.  As a result, food security — the
access and availability to food — has deteriorated for most households
in all arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia as
well as other countries in the region.  In a word, the situation has
become a crisis. Crops have failed, large numbers of livestock needed
for survival have perished, and local food prices have increased

Earlier this week, the United Nations declared
that famine exists in two areas of southern Somalia, southern Bakool and
Lower Shabelle. (Famine is declared when acute rates of malnutrition
exist among children, exceeding 30 percent; when more than two persons
per 10,000 die daily; and when people are not able to access and
sufficiently utilize food and other basics.)

In all, more than 10
million people in East Africa are affected by the drought. In Somalia,
some 3.7 million people are now facing a crisis, while in Kenya the
total number of those estimated to be affected is up to 3.5 million.

the characteristics of this crisis: Deepening food insecurity in
pastoral areas and in urban poor settings; the rate of acute
malnutrition among children in these areas is steadily increasing; and
Kenya is experiencing an unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing
drought conditions from Somalia.


  • Church World Service is focusing work on both immediate relief and
    longer-term food security/nutrition and water initiatives. Work is
    focused in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
  • In Kenya, CWS-implemented work is focused on the Mwingi and Kibwezi
    areas and will include immediate relief work (for five months) involving
    provision of family food packages, Unimix nutritional supplement for
    children under the age of five and water tinkering. In the longer-term,
    CWS will initiate food security/nutrition/livelihoods efforts and
    permanent water initiatives that are part of our already-existing
    disaster risk reduction initiatives in Kenya.
  • ACT members have determined that Somalia will be the largest area of
    focus for the overall ACT response in terms of the amount of
    assistance.  That is because Somalia is a country “where little other
    than NGO support will exist and the situation of people there is the
    most dire,” said Donna Derr, who heads CWS’s development and
    humanitarian assistance program.
  • CWS-supported efforts in Somalia are focused on contributing to the
    work by fellow members of ACT Alliance: Lutheran World Federation and
    Norwegian Church Aid.
  • CWS-supported work in Ethiopia is focused on response efforts by the
    Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social
    Services Commission, a long-time CWS partner.

In Kenya, CWS is a member of the ACT Kenya
Forum, a group of ACT Alliance members working and coordinating
together. The combined ACT efforts are targeting some 97,526 households
in various emergency response and drought recovery interventions. In
all, some 14,000 households are to receive relief food aid for 5 months;
25,500 households are to receive monthly food vouchers for 5 months;
36,000 households are to receive fresh drinking water for domestic use
for 5 months; 47,500 households are to receive water for livestock. In
addition, the ACT effort will include the de-worming of more than
100,000 heads of cattle.

The budget for direct CWS work in Kenya
will initially be $431,839, which includes emergency food relief for
families, supplemental feeding for children under five years of age, and
water provision for a period of five months. Longer-term work will
involve disaster risk reduction programs inclusive of food
security/livelihood programs and the construction of permanent water
systems. Total preliminary funding for activities of all ACT members in
Kenya is:  $5,508,000.

CWS-supported work by Norwegian Church Aid will provide emergency
food, non-food items (shelter, clothing, hygiene materials),
psychosocial support and water and sanitation in the crisis phase. The
post-crisis phase will consist of livelihood recovery interventions
including providing seeds and restocking livestock and income generating
activities for the affected farming/pastoral communities.  An
anticipated 94,000 persons will be assisted in the Gedo region.  

work by Lutheran World Federation is for the agency’s implementation of
emergency and post-emergency programs at three of the border camps at
Dadaab which currently house some 358,000 refugees. There many new
refugees are arriving weekly from Somalia. Services to be provided
include: water supply; material aid and psycho-social support to
families, including nutrient enriched porridge for children and the
elderly; temporary learning and recreational centers for children.

Total preliminary budget for these programs is:  $12,485,757

CWS partner and ACT Alliance member
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social
Services Commission is responding by providing food aid to 68,812
persons in the Gasara and Saba Boru districts.

The monthly ration
size per individual beneficiary consists of 15 kg wheat, 1.5 kg of
beans, as well as cooking oil, which is calculated according to the
government relief food ration standard. As well, children under five,
pregnant and lactating women are being prioritized to receive 1.5 kg
supplementary food, known as Famix, per person.  

Total budget for this response:  $793,766.31, of which $777,902 is for emergency food. 

Responses from our Partners:

 CWS responds to the East Africa Drought and Famine
CWS – July 27th Article
The ACT Alliance response to the Drought in the Horn of Africa

1. Pray for the people
and communities across the East Horn of Africa impacted by drought and
famine and UCC partners providing relief.
2. UCC members make a gift through One Great Hour of Sharing
3. Disciples click here to make a gift through Week of Compassion