Food crisis grows in East Africa

In January, our team of staff and partners in Kenya rallied support from their home communities to raise funds for food and water to help villages in north Kenya affected by this extreme drought.

We need your help to support them.

In the Horn of Africa, pastoral communities in the arid and semi-arid parts of Ethiopia and Kenya where GHNI is working depend on rainy seasons twice a year. The spring rains, usually from March through May, came late this year and appear to be the driest on record, further deepening the need of people affected by this crisis. This is the fourth consecutive failed monsoon season and the situation is predicted to worsen between May and December, with the seasonal rains forecasted to be less than normal.

The United Nations (UN) estimates that about 14 million people living in this region are being pushed to the brink of starvation as they face the worst drought in a generation. That number could be as high as 20 million by the end of the year. 

This comes at a challenging time where farmers in the pastoral areas of Kenya and Ethiopia are still recovering from the damage caused by the desert locust invasions last year and COVID-19 which diverted resources as nations have dealt with the pandemic; slowing trade and impacting families who lost their livelihoods due to quarantine measures. 

The war in Ukraine is not helping either. As we have experienced at home, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is  already increasing the costs of food and fuel for many African countries, especially in the Horn, who depend on the essential exports of these two countries. Our staff in Kenya report that prices are going up daily. 

Families that depend on agriculture are those most affected by the drought. The thirsty ground can’t support crops and an estimated three million livestock have died across southern Ethiopia. In Kenya alone, an estimated 1 million people are now facing acute food insecurity and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in the next six months. We know from experience that the situation is worse for women and girls in communities that are affected as they are often the ones responsible for feeding their families and collecting water.

At the June 2022 Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, stated, “Daily decisions must be made about who gets fed.”

Our teams in Ethiopia and Kenya are already helping families within these communities by providing emergency food supplies and water. We’re offering assistance to relocate if necessary. Our longer-term goal is to help communities affected by this disaster invest in more resilient food and water systems, especially considering the difficult environment they live in.

Food boxes will provide corn/wheat/rice, some protein (such as beans), oil, and salt. With current prices in the region:

  • $50 can feed a family of five for a week
  • $200 can feed a family of five for a month

Would you help us provide households with emergency food and water assistance to get through this food crisis and move toward self sustainability?

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