Severe hunger threatens 13m in Horn of Africa – UN

Imogen Foulkes - BBC News, Geneva

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) says 13 million people across the Horn of Africa face severe hunger because of continued drought.

Failed harvests and food shortages are forcing families from their homes, the WFP says, and immediate assistance is needed to prevent a humanitarian crisis.

The rainy season has failed three years in a row – and the drought continues.

Crops are ruined, livestock are dying, and 13 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are going hungry.

Food prices are rising, and with little to harvest, demand for agricultural labour is falling, increasing the pressure on families trying to feed themselves.

Without immediate assistance, the WFP says, a humanitarian crisis is unavoidable.

The WFP is appealing for $327m (£242m) to respond to the drought – in the short term to provide food and cash grants, and in the long term to build resilience among farming communities where less rain and more drought could, with climate change, become the norm.

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