3 Million face Drought in South-East Ethiopia, Somalia – IRC

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) says severe drought is affecting more than three million people in South-East Ethiopia and Somalia due to a lack of rainfall.

Richard Crothers, the IRC country director for Somalia, says the two countries are part of 20 countries in the world most at risk of a worsening humanitarian crisis this year.

“The Horn of Africa has been on the verge of crisis for some time. There have been several failed consecutive rainy seasons. We have a situation right now where we are having a significant amount of food insecurity, human displacement,” he said.

The aid group says both countries are facing the driest conditions in 40 years due to the lack of rainfall.

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Crothers said women and children are the most affected by the drought.

Specifically, children under five are the most affected, livelihoods are ruined, crops are destroyed, and herds of cattle that were once large have diminished. It is a desperate situation, and particularly women and children are the most affected, Crothers added.

Food prices have gone up in Ethiopia and Somalia, and some people are unable to afford basic foods to feed their families.

As part of its response in Ethiopia’s Somali region, the IRC says it needs more funding to scale up humanitarian assistance in other areas.

The IRC is urging that more funding be allocated to cash assistance, food, water, and sanitation facilities to combat health problems.

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