Drought in the Horn of Africa: Preventing the next disaster

Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2011
Research, reports and studies
Disaster preparedness, Disasters, Contingency Planning, Drought, Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction
Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia


Key messages
• Governments, donors and humanitarian organisations must work together on a long term approach, addressing the chronic underlying issues. Together, we need to focus on preventing future crises through intelligent investment in sustainable change.
• We must build the resilience of communities, empower people to identify their development priorities and diversify livelihood options. Smallholder farming provides one solution for struggling pastoralist communities and should be expanded.
• Donors already motivated to provide increased funding during times of heightened emergency must also be encouraged to look at investing to prevent the next disaster, as well as meeting emergency needs. Humanitarian aid and development must work hand in hand. Examples in this report show how their investment will lessen the need to fund expensive and unsustainable emergency responses in years to come.
• Communities should be protected from rising food prices that magnify the impact of drought. As set out in the 2011 World Disasters Report, new regulations must curb the ability of speculators to exert excessive market power over food.
• Disaster risk reduction in communities has to become a priority. Governments should increase their investment in community infrastructure and social services with a focus on education to ensure the next generation can live healthy, productive lives.