Climate and economic shocks create crisis in East Africa
In Puntland state, northern Somalia, widespread drought is endangering the lives of residents and their livestock. “In my lifetime, this is the worst drought I have ever experienced,” says Abdulahi Farah Isse, 27, who has lost nearly 40 of his 100 cows in the past few months. He says it’s not unusual for dry conditions to kill livestock in some years, “but it’s never been like that.”
“I am very worried about this drought and the near future,” Isse says of Puntland’s hunger crisis. “If these cattle all die, people will be in danger. Our children need cow’s milk, which is a challenge now, but we try to do our best for our people to survive.
The problem facing people like Isse in Puntland is not just a lack of rain, but a combination of prolonged climate-induced drought, conflict, the economic fallout from COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine that has caused a spike in grain prices around the world.
These factors affect people across Somalia, where 90% of the country is experiencing drought, as well as other parts of East Africa. One person is likely to die of hunger every 48 seconds in drought-ravaged Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, Oxfam and Save the Children estimate in a report highlighting the world’s repeated failure to avert preventable disasters. The report, titled Dangerous Delays 2: The Cost of Inaction, released 10 years after famine in Somalia killed more than 260,000 people, says nearly half a million people in parts of Somalia and ethiopia are facing extreme hunger and near-famine conditions. In Kenya, 3.5 million people suffer from extreme hunger.
What Oxfam is doing to prevent extreme hunger
Oxfam is working with local organizations to reach more than two million people in four countries: Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan, where five years of seasonal flooding have displaced 350,000 people.
In Somalia, Oxfam is working with local organisations, such as KAALO Aid and Development, to provide vital water, sanitation and health support. Together we are drilling wells, distributing hygiene kits (to help protect communities from water-borne diseases), distributing cash, seeds, tools and training farmers in greenhouse cultivation at Small scale.
Oxfam works with a network of organizations in the drylands of northern Kenya. These organizations provide money to help people buy food and other essentials. So far we have distributed money to 40,000 people. We are repairing wells and other water supply systems and promoting good hygiene to help people prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses in eight of the hardest-to-reach and hardest-hit counties.
To respond to the severe drought in Ethiopia, Oxfam is scaling up its work in the southern region of Somalia to reach 180,000 people with support for small businesses, vaccination and veterinary treatment of livestock, agricultural support and counter work projects. remuneration.
Oxfam’s work with partners in South Sudan is helping people in five states and aims to provide 383,000 people with clean water, sanitation and hygiene resources, cash grants to families for buying food and other essentials, and supporting people to boost their income, such as seeds, tools and fishing kits.