Ethiopia Water
In Ethiopia, women and girls may have to walk hours or days to find clean drinking water for their households. USAID rehabilitates water points, supplying life-saving access to clean drinking water in a country where over 5 million people are in need.
Kelley Lynch

Latest Horn of Africa Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to the complex emergency in the Horn of Africa region, including in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia.

On July 8, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced nearly $639 million in new humanitarian funding to support emergency response activities in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen—the four conflict-affected countries facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition crises—as well as neighboring countries hosting refugees fleeing those crises. The new funding includes nearly $126 million in new humanitarian assistance for drought- and conflict-affected Somalis, which brings the total U.S. Government humanitarian assistance for Somalia to nearly $336.7 million to date in FY 2017.

Response stakeholders continue to highlight concerns regarding deteriorating nutrition conditions in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Nutrition actors in Somalia have admitted approximately 126,000 severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases to date in 2017, including approximately 25,000 new cases admitted in June. In addition, nutrition actors in Ethiopia reported nearly 110,700 SAM admissions between January and April—marking a 125 percent increase from the same period in 2016—and nutrition actors in Kenya reported nearly 43,600 SAM admissions between January and May.

Approximately 761,000 people in Somalia were displaced by drought between November 2016 and June 2017, the UN reports. The total includes an estimated 13,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who arrived in Bay Region’s Baidoa town between June 1 and 23, primarily from remote villages in Bay and neighboring Bakool Region’s Rabdhure District. Primary needs among the newly arrived IDPs include emergency food and shelter assistance and access to safe drinking water, according to the UN.

Between June 19 and 23, staff from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance traveled to northern Kenya’s Marsabit and Turkana counties—where nutrition actors have identified pockets of malnutrition exceeding 30 percent, more than twice the UN World Health Organization emergency threshold—to evaluate humanitarian response activities and remaining needs.

Please visit our Horn of Africa web page for additional information.


Following consecutive seasons of unfavorable rainfall and harvests in 2010 and 2011, Ethiopia experienced localized precipitation shortages during the February-to-May 2012 belg rainy season in 2012, which hindered recovery for populations that experienced significant food insecurity and malnutrition in 2011. Drought is a major contributor to vulnerability in Ethiopia, as resulting crop and livestock losses have a profoundly negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists.

Populations continue to confront several other challenges—including seasonal flooding, localized inter-communal conflict, above-average food prices, disease outbreaks, and limited access to health and WASH services—that contributed to sustained humanitarian needs and an ongoing complex emergency in Ethiopia.

Last updated: July 18, 2017

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