Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dire drought in east Africa could starve around 20M

Dire drought in east Africa could starve around 20M

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Six million Somalis or 40 percent of the population are facing extreme levels of food insecurity. AFP

Dire drought in east Africa could starve around 20M

Twenty million people are at risk of starvation this year as delayed rains worsen an already brutal drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, the UN warned on April 19.

A months-long drought has left the Horn of Africa on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, destroying crops and livestock and forcing huge numbers of people to leave their homes in search of food and water.

As rains fail to materialise nearly a month into the current rainy season, “the number of hungry people due to drought could spiral from the currently estimated 14 million to 20 million through 2022”, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said.

Six million Somalis or 40 per cent of the population were facing extreme levels of food insecurity and there was “a very real risk of famine in the coming months” if current conditions prevailed, WFP said.

In Kenya, half a million people were on the brink of a hunger crisis. The number of Kenyans in need of assistance has risen more than fourfold in less than two years, the agency said.

Malnutrition rates in drought-hit southern and southeastern Ethiopia have surged above emergency thresholds, while the north of the country has been in the grip of a 17-month war between government forces and Tigrayan rebels.

Parts of the drought-hit Horn of Africa region are already reeling from the effects of ongoing conflict, poverty and a locust invasion, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on April 19.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,