10 Dec, NAIROBI-
The UN humanitarian agency said Friday that at least 29 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region are in need of food aid.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Eastern Africa said this represented an 18-percent increase of food insecure population compared to the same period last year.
“The region is seeing some short-term improvements following seasonal harvests particularly in the northern sector of the GHA due to above-normal rainfall conditions,” OCHA said in its Food & Nutrition Security Situation for November.
However, it said food security is expected to deteriorate in areas affected by insecurity, including Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Burundi, and areas affected by below-average rain and consecutive poor seasons.
The report said conflicts in Somalia and South Sudan are among the greatest drivers of humanitarian needs, fueling new displacement within countries and across borders.
At the same time, the impact of El Nino-triggered droughts, floods and extreme weather is pushing vulnerable communities to the brink of survival.
The UN said dryer than average conditions persisted in most areas of the equatorial sector of the GHA until September, resulting into pockets of crop failures, deterioration of pasture and browse conditions and depletion of water resources within most agricultural, pastoral and agro-pastoral communities.
“In addition, the October-December rainfall significantly delayed and is anticipated to perform poorly consistent with the outlook leading to poor prospects for agricultural production,” OCHA said.
The UN said the refugee movements have continued due to continued insecurity, compounded with food insecurity and a deterioration of the nutrition situation, in particular to South Sudan. (Xinhua) –