NAIROBI, Kenya – Oxfam has called for more funding to tackle the crisis in the Horn of Africa, where drought is putting millions of lives at risk.
“More than 15 million people are in need of aid as drought hits parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia again,” the humanitarian organization said in a statement on Thursday.
The lack of rainfall has destroyed crops and the means of earning a living for people living in the region.
Around 7.6 million are at risk of severe hunger and many have been forced to migrate to survive.
The Horn of Africa has suffered two droughts in the last decade.
In 2011, famine killed more than 260,000.
Six years later, the international response to the second crisis was faster and more effective.
“We learned from the collective failures of the 2011 famine that we must respond swiftly and decisively to save lives,” Oxfam’s regional director for the Horn of Africa Lydia Zigomo said.
“But the international commitment to ensure that it never happens again is turning to complacency.
“Once again it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are bearing the brunt.”
Oxfam said that shortfalls in international funding contrasted with a more proactive response from the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.
“We cannot wait until images of malnourished people and dead animals fill our television screens. We need to act now to avert disaster,” Zigomo added.
The climate crisis is affecting rain patterns in the region and causing severe drought seasons that put millions of lives at risk.
Jama, a Somalian man displaced due to the drought in 2017, said he fears there will be an even worse situation this time.
“We lost all of our livestock in 2017. If there are no solutions and the situation doesn’t improve, we will lose everyone here. I’m afraid of losing people,” he said.