A historic drought is threatening millions of lives in the Horn of Africa. To bring immediate relief to the most vulnerable people, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is providing nearly $105 million in humanitarian aid.
This is the fourth consecutive failed rainy season, which is increasing the likelihood of famine for hundreds of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa. A fifth rainy season is forecast to be drier than average, further devastating livelihoods for families who depend on crops and livestock for food to survive. As a result, more than 16 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance. The number is expected to rise to unprecedented levels, with up to 20 million people in need of help by September.
The additional funding will enable USAID partners to provide food, health and nutrition services, and access to clean water. The funding also supports safe spaces and case management for women and girls displaced by drought.
Russia’s brutal, unprovoked war on Ukraine is deepening the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, as food, fuel, and fertilizer prices soar, and shortages worsen. Like other regions in the Middle East and Africa, the Horn can no longer import wheat and other grains from Ukraine due to Russia’s full-scale invasion, putting millions of women, men, and children at risk of death if they do not find sufficient food. Almost 70 percent of Somalia’s grain and almost ten percent of Kenya’s comes from Ukraine.
The United States is the largest single-country donor of humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa, providing more than $507 million across the region since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022. But more funding is urgently required from other donors. Given the severity of the drought and the scale of humanitarian needs, the U.S. government is urging other donors to increase their assistance to prevent famine and save the lives of millions of people.
The United States cannot meet the needs in the region on its own. It is time for the donor community to come together to prevent more suffering and save lives.