Greater Horn of Africa: Pre-famine conditions in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya
Pre-famine conditions persist throughout drought affected areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. These conditions are the immediate result of the failed October to December rains in the region, but are deeply rooted in a series of underlying causes including successive poor rainy seasons, reduced access to pasture, water and markets by pastoral populations, and conflict. Distress migration, school drop-outs, livestock deaths, unacceptably high malnutrition rates, severe water shortages, consumption of famine foods, and conflict driven by resource scarcity are all currently being observed in the affected areas. Increased response efforts are required to stabilize the crisis. Contingency planning for the possibility of a poor March to May rainy season is also essential. Forecasts for this season, the main season both for pastoral and most agricultural populations in the affected areas, demonstrate the increased likelihood of another poor season. This could lead to a worst-case scenario, with widespread famine conditions emerging in the region. The four maps below show the seriousness of the current crisis in the most affected areas by demonstrating the extent of selected pre-famine indicators and the possibility for a worst-case scenario by showing the current forecast for the March to May season.