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Food Crisis in the Horn of Africa: Progress Report July 2011-July 2012


About this resource

Resource type:Evaluation reports
Keywords:Disasters, Drought, Food and nutrition, Food security
Countries:Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
Date published:July 2012


The 2011 drought across the Horn of Africa was,
in some places, the worst to hit the region for
60 years. It was first predicted about a year
beforehand, when sophisticated regional early
warning systems began to alert the world to the
possibility of drier-than-normal conditions in key
pastoral areas of Ethiopia, Somalia and Northern
Kenya, linked to the effects of the climatic
phenomenon La Niña.
These predictions were borne out by the failure
of the October–November rainy season in 2010.
When the following rains also failed in March–April
2011, louder alarm bells began sounding as a slide
into major crisis started to look inevitable. Yet
reactions were small-scale and patchy. No major
response was launched, even when the Kenyan
government declared the drought a national
disaster at the end of May. It was not until images
of the crisis appeared in global media, and the
United Nations declared a famine in two parts of
Somalia in mid-July, that international donors
suddenly woke up to its severity. By that time 13
million people were affected.

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