IGAD Warns High-Risk of Food Insecurity in the Horn

Addis Ababa April 04/2019 Immediate early action needed to prevent food crisis in the Greater Horn of Africa, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) warns.

In its press release sent to ENA, IGAD said there is a high risk of worsening food insecurity in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda if forecasted rainfall deficits materialize.

Around 10.7 million people are currently food insecure across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Karamoja region in Uganda, the press release indicated.

IGAD pointed out that although the food insecure population is lower than numbers observed during the drought in 2017 which was 15.3 million people, there is a high risk of a worsening situation due to forecasted rainfall deficits.

The delay in the start of March to June long rains, coupled with forecasted rainfall deficits in April are building on already dry conditions due to poor October to December rains over some parts of the Greater Horn of Africa.

According to the release, the poor performance of the past season’s short rains already led to below-average crop production and deteriorating pastures in some agro-pastoral and marginal mixed farming areas.

If the forecasted rainfall deficits materialize in April, this would lead to an atypical increase in food insecurity, likely to peak from June to October adding that Northeastern Kenya, South and Central Somalia and South and Eastern Ethiopia would likely experience a rapid decline in pastoral conditions, according IGAD.

The press release underlined that crop production would also be below average in marginal agricultural areas of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. These, along with the potential of lower than average production of key regional players such as Uganda and Tanzania, could cause price increases and reduce access of poor households to basic food supplies.

Currently, despite poor agricultural and pastoral conditions, favorable market prices for key staple foods and livestock are facilitating food access for households.

Source: Government of Ethiopia