The World Health Organization warned on Wednesday that millions of people in East Africa face the threat of starvation. Speaking at a media briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that drought, climate change, rising prices and an ongoing civil war in northern Ethiopia are all contributing to worsening food insecurity.
Over 50 million people in East Africa will face acute food insecurity this year, a study from late July by the World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization found. Roughly 7 million children are suffering from malnourishment and, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, hundreds of thousands are leaving their homes in search of food or livelihoods. Affected countries include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
“The current food security situation across the Horn of Africa is dire after four consecutive rainy seasons have failed, a climatic event not seen in at least 40 years, or since the beginning of the satellite era,” Chimimba David Phiri of the Food and Agriculture Organization said in the report.
The warnings have been gradually building for months, as the situation worsens. In June, David Nash, a physical geographer at the University of Brighton, reported for the Conversation that “large areas of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are currently in the grip of a severe drought.” [Continue reading…]