Photo: Khadija Farah/Oxfam
Mareya Ibrahim, stands among the carcasses of her livestock. Of the 50 animals she owned, she now has seven remaining.
Last updated 29 March 2022
As many as 28 million people across East Africa are at risk of extreme hunger if rains fail again.
People in the arid lands of northern Kenya, along with neighboring Somalia and southern parts of Ethiopia, are now enduring an extensive drought due to the effects of climate change. Conflict in northern Ethiopia as well as unpredictable rains and flooding in South Sudan are disrupting agriculture, and spreading hunger and suffering.
Currently, almost 21 million people are facing severe levels of hunger and more than 44 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan. Oxfam estimates that 13 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia have been displaced in search of water and pasture, just in the first quarter of 2022.
Further, countries in East Africa import up to 90 per cent of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia. With global food and commodity prices already high because of COVID, the conflict in Ukraine will have catastrophic new consequences on the food supply in the region. It will also push prices up beyond what people in East Africa can afford.
Climate change, COVID and conflict are pushing people to the brink. Even if the rains do arrive this month, full recovery will be near impossible unless urgent action is taken today.
Aiming to reach over 1.5 million people with emergency food, clean water, sanitation, shelter and flexible cash assistance.
Implementing rehabilitation programmes and working to help communities be more resilient to climate change in the long run.
Calling on all donors to urgently fill the UN humanitarian appeal funding gap, and to get funds as quickly as possible to local humanitarian organisations.
Urging governments and warring parties in conflict zones need to ensure humanitarian agencies like Oxfam can safely reach the most vulnerable people.
Oxfam Hong Kong has responded to previous food crises in the region, and has already sprung into action to respond to people's needs in East Africa. But we need your help to do more.
Idris Akhdar from WASDA a 21-year Kenyan partner with Oxfam, from Wajir County, North Eastern Kenya said: 'Our team have met desperate people. People who are hungry, who are thirsty, and who are about to lose hope. In the last few days, I have seen across the region - Somali region in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya - the same hunger and destitution all over. We appeal to the international community to help.'
Sowda Abdile Omar (pictured) said: ‘My biggest challenge is lack of enough food to feed my family. We are also faced with a lot of food shortage and lack money to buy food. My children have not had any food to eat. We have stayed for 2 days without any meal.’
Many children and adults across East Africa are experiencing severe levels of hunger. The adults are doing what they can to help their children survive. Diyaara Ibrahim Gulie, from Wajir County in Kenya, said: ‘[A]t times we have to prioritise the children’s eating and starve the grown-ups in order to sustain what little food we have.’