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- At least 12.4 million people in the Horn of Africa are facing a humanitarian emergency as the region grapples with its worst drought in 60 years.
- Those in need of assistance include: Ethiopia — 4.5 million people; Kenya 3.5 million; Somalia — 3.7 million; Uganda an estimated 600,000; and Djibouti — about 120,000 people (UN -OCHA).
- Much of the region is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years. Poor March to May rains caused scarce pasture and increased water shortages.
- Famine has now been declared in five regions of Somalia. The definition of famine requires that the prevalence of global acute malnutrition exceed 30 percent, at least 20 percent of households face extreme food shortages with limited ability to cope, and death rates exceed two per 10,000 per day. In many areas, death rates are far higher.
- The severe drought has already devastated the livelihoods of pastoral communities, with massive livestock deaths recorded. Livestock sales are often used to buy grain and other staples- lack of milk and meat is contributing to unacceptably high levels of malnutrition in the region.
- The summer 2011 harvests have failed, and relief from the drought is now not expected until December.
- The prices of food, water, and fuel are expected to remain high.
VOA’s Ndimyake Mwakalyelye discusses the crisis in East Africa with Faustine Wabwire.
Why is this year different?
Where are the worst-affected areas?