At least 22 mln to be food insecure in E. Africaover El-Nino: UN
04 February 2016, 20:48
Nairobi - About 22 million people across
the Eastern Africa region will require food assistance due to El-Nino-related
heavy rains which have been pounding several parts of the region since June
2015, the UN said on Wednesday.
The UN Office of Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) Eastern Africa said there is also an increased risk for water and
sector-borne diseases due to a combination of water shortages, poor sanitation
and hygiene conditions, high malnutrition levels and population displacement.
The UN humanitarian agency said the resurgence of Rift
Valley Fever, which spreads very fast during rainy seasons in Somalia, Kenya
and Tanzania, is a particular concern.
"Due to El Niño conditions, 22 million people are
expected to be food insecure across Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and
South Sudan," OCHA said in its latest report for January released in
According to OCHA, Somalia, Kenya and the southern parts of
Ethiopia are expected to see above-average rainfall, while South Sudan, Sudan,
Eritrea, Djibouti and North-Eastern Ethiopia are expected to see drier than
normal conditions or even drought.
In Ethiopia alone, 10.2 million people require emergency
food assistance and numbers are expected to rise to 18 million by the end of
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The report said most areas of Kenya received above-average short
rains, driven in part by the ongoing El Nino. It noted that localized flooding
and mudslides/landslides were reported.
Although less extensive than previously expected, the Kenya
Red Cross Society (KRCS) reported the heavy rains resulted in a cumulative loss
of 130 lives and 73 recorded injuries, with 40, 121 households (about 240,120
The UN humanitarian agency said El-Nino continues to
aggravate drought conditions, and impact on food security and health in
"The effects of drought in northwestern Somalia could
extend several months into 2016 where about 380,000 people are already facing
severe water shortages," OCHA said.
The reports said some 2.3 million people, more than
two-thirds being internally displaced, are in food-stressed situations and the
number of people in severe food insecurity may increase by over 400,000.