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 20 March 2023
Close to 30 million people across East Africa are living in crisis levels of hunger (IPC 3) or worse which requires urgent action. This is a 13 per cent increase between April and December 2022. And levels of malnutrition are soaring among children, with 1.9 million children in drought-affected areas projected to experience wasting from severe acute malnutrition in 2023.
The Crisis in Numbers
- 9.9 million people in crisis-levels of hunger or worse
- 13 million people live with daily water insecurity
- 5 consecutive rainy seasons (since 2020)
- 3.5 million livestock dead
- 648,000 students affected by the drought as 2,000 schools are closed; another 4,558 schools are at high risk of closing soon
- 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance - an increase from 4.5 million in 2022
- About 5 million lack enough water for drinking, cooking and cleaning
- 400,000 students affected by the drought; 66,000 are not in school as a result
- About 6.4 million people in crisis-levels of hunger or worse, with 1.9 million people at emergency levels (IPC 4) and 322,000 in catastrophe-levels of hunger (IPC 5)
- 1.7 million children dropped out of school due to drought
- 3 million livestock deaths reported
- Around 6.3 million people in crisis-levels of hunger
- 1.34 million children suffering from acute malnutrition
- 2.8 million children out of school
- 900,000 lost their homes, crops and livestock to floods
- 2.2 million people displaced
In Ethiopia, we:
- have reached close to 60,000 people with clean water, food and cash assistance.
- have continued to rehabilitate boreholes, and are expanding them so more people have access to clean water.
- worked with the livestock development bureau to vaccinate over 146,000 sheep, goats, cattle and camels to further protect pastoralists’ livelihoods.
In Kenya, we:
- have, together with our partner organisations, reached close to 205,000 people with humanitarian assistance.
- have been distributing water treatment kits and promoting personal and environmental hygiene.
- offered cash assistance to drought affected households.
In Somalia, we:
- reached over 184,000 people together with local organisations.
- are providing lifesaving water, sanitation, and health support.
- are drilling wells and distributing hygiene kits to prevent waterborne diseases.
In South Sudan, we:
- have reached close to 274,000 people.
- constructed latrines that serve over 25,000 people.
- are promoting hygiene and sanitation to protect communities from disease.
Oxfam Hong Kong has responded to previous food crises in the region, and is responding 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.’