This report describes the set of activities that should be prioritized from the recent Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) for Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as those included in the Kenya Drought Flash Appeal, in order to save the livelihoods and therefore the lives of 1.5 million rural people across the three countries. The Horn of Africa is facing the third severe La Niña‑induced drought episode in a decade, and the region is on the verge of a catastrophe if humanitarian assistance is not urgently scaled up. Drought is particularly impacting Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia and exacerbating the humanitarian situation in a region characterized by underlying vulnerabilities and already suffering from the impact of multiple shocks since late 2019. These include a desert locust upsurge (the first in 70 years), the COVID‑19 pandemic and its socioeconomic implications, abnormally high food prices, and protracted conflict and insecurity.
The report finds that 25.3 million people are projected to be facing high acute food insecurity by mid-2022, 1.5 million rural people are targeted by FAO with livelihood assistance, and USD 129.9 million are urgently needed by Jun 2022. Thereafter, the key messages of this report are:
- The international community has a narrow window of six to seven months to prevent a major humanitarian catastrophe in the Horn of Africa.
- Saving livelihoods save lives, but livelihood support is disproportionally underfunded in any humanitarian response.
- Bringing assistance to rural areas, as close as possible to affected communities, will prevent massive displacement, related aggravating risks and excess mortality.
- FAO is a partner of choice in rural areas to safeguard livelihoods and provide food solutions especially through its flagship cash+ programme.