On Tuesday 26th April, diplomats from governments and UN agencies meet in Geneva to take stock of aid efforts on the drought across the Horn of Africa region.
In its statement regarding the dire situation in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa regions Caritas Africa said, “Whilst the global media and political spotlight is focused on the crisis in Ukraine, attention to the suffering of people in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped away and support for life-saving aid efforts is woefully inadequate.” Caritas noted that an estimated 15-16 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are in need of immediate food assistance because of the drought.
“Thousands of animals have died. There is no water for my family and me. Out of almost 300 goats, I have none, all died,” said one woman in Northern Kenya to the Caritas stuff member. Caritas notes that an inadequate global funding for the drought and famine response is compounded by the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the global food supply chain; coming on top of conflict, forced displacement and Covid19 in the affected countries. Increased fuel prices are not helping the situation either.
Countries affected by drought and famine, include Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. Three priorities to be addressed according to Caritas are; a need to address a funding gap, support for local leadership of the crisis response, and addressing the underlying causes of famine and support community resilience in the longer term.
Caritas Africa says deliberations between diplomats, national governments, UN agencies and other stakeholders are welcome, but they must be assessed by the extent to which they translate into new and additional action and resources to tackle the scourge of drought and famine afflicting so many millions of people across Africa right now.
Caritas Africa’s full statement below