Somalia: 90% of the country’s districts struck by drought
Somalia is amongst the hardest hit by the drought. Currently, almost 90 per cent of the country’s districts (66 out of 74) have been struck and approximately 4.3 million people are in desperate need of immediate aid.
According to the UN, 271,000 people in Somalia have been forced to abandon their homes in a desperate attempt to reach food, water, and pasture – exposing them to many more terrifying dangers.
Gender-based violence, disease outbreaks due to a lack of access to sanitation and hygiene facilities, a lack of adequate shelter and more, face the hundreds of thousands as they leave home in search of food and water.
The region is facing the longest sequence of poor rains since 1981 – an astonishing period of hardship facing the people of Somalia. A culmination of food and water shortages, protracted conflict, climatic shocks, disease outbreaks and the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 has put millions of people into an impossible situation.
Islamic Relief has worked in Somalia for 15 years and are now working tirelessly to respond to the current crisis unfolding.
Ethiopia: 400,000 are facing catastrophic hunger
Today, one of the world’s most extreme hunger crises is facing the people of Ethiopia. The UN estimates there are now 13.6 million people in dire need of food aid.
One of the worst areas to be hit by the growing drought crisis is Borena, in the Oromia region, which shares a southern border with Kenya. There, 69,000 livestock have died due to the effects of a drought, cutting off livelihoods and provisions for thousands of people who have nowhere else to turn for food and income.
To add further to the terrifying circumstances unfolding in Ethiopia, the northern region continues to be one of the most dangerous places to deliver aid.
Conflict in the northern region of Tigray in late 2020 has sprung into action blockades that prevent essential food and medicine from reaching people in need. As a result, many hundreds of thousands of people are starving to death.
Currently, the amount of people affected is unclear due to restricted access to the region, however the situation is dire. Over 5 million people in the area are facing food shortages, while approximately 400,000 are facing catastrophic levels of hunger.
Islamic Relief is one of the few international organisations providing foodstuffs such as oil, pulses, rice, sugar and salt on the ground. We also run eight mobile health units which are a crucial source of wellbeing for displaced people in the conflict-affected region of Afar in the north, with plans to extend our reach to those in the south.
Kenya: A growing crisis
The growing drought crisis in Kenya has been a devastating blow for the many vulnerable people living in the northern, north-eastern, and coastal areas of the country, who are now experiencing one of their worst rainfalls in decades.
For the millions of people who depend largely on agriculture for income, the drought has ripped them of their livelihoods and plunged them into dire circumstances. More than 1.4 million cows, sheep, goats, and camels have already died, causing milk production to drop to less than half of normal levels. Food insecurity across the country poses the biggest threat to the survival of children, the elderly, women and men.
With livestock rapidly declining, many have been forced to walk to source pasture, food and water supplies. Currently, 2.9 million people are in need of urgent food aid and humanitarian assistance.
Islamic Relief is providing thousands of drought-affected families with cash transfers to help people in remote areas. However, the crisis unfolding is unimaginable, and many are running out of time to find the means of their survival.
Islamic Relief are on the ground
Islamic Relief have been on the ground in these parts for over 15 years, working to provide sustainable solutions and response mechanisms to droughts occurring in the area. However, the frequency and intensity of the droughts are leaving these resilient communities with no time to recover in between disasters.