USAID/OFDA provided life-saving nutrition assistance during the 2011 drought crisis.
USAID/OFDA provided life-saving nutrition assistance during the 2011 drought crisis.
Nancy Lindborg/USAID

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.

Below-average rainfall, significantly reduced agricultural harvests, and overall limited access to food are exacerbating food insecurity, adversely affecting access to water and pasture for livestock, and generating significant needs in drought-affected areas in the Horn of Africa region, particularly in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Current trends are expected to continue through mid-2017. Government stakeholders and relief agencies are assessing humanitarian conditions and responding to urgent needs across the region.

The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia estimate that more than 2.9 million people across Somalia face Crisis—IPC 3—or Emergency—IPC 4—levels of acute food insecurity through June, bringing the total acutely food-insecure population in the country to 6.2 million people. Somalia is experiencing an increasingly severe drought and related impacts on water availability, food accessibility, nutrition, and agricultural, pastoral, and agro-pastoral livelihoods. The likelihood of famine is expected to increase in the coming months if the April-to-June gu rains are below average, purchasing power continues to decline, and humanitarian actors are unable to reach populations in need.

In FY 2016, the U.S. Government (USG) contributed nearly $855 million to support relief interventions in the Horn of Africa. To date in FY 2017, USAID's Office of Food for Peace has provided an estimated $171 million of food assistance for drought-affected and foodinsecure people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance has committed nearly $8.7 million in FY 2017 to address immediate agriculture, food security, health, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs in Ethiopia. U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration has contributed $2.3 million to the International Organization for Migration revised regional appeal for the Yemen response in Ethiopia and Djibouti.

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


Since 1991, Somalia has experienced a persistent complex emergency due to chronic food insecurity, widespread violence, and recurrent droughts and floods. The 2011 drought—widely regarded as the country’s worst in 60 years—severely deteriorated food security among pastoralists and populations in marginal farming areas, resulting in famine in areas of Bay, Bakool, and Lower and Middle Shabelle regions, as well as among internally displaced persons in Mogadishu and the nearby Afgooye corridor.

Despite improvements in recent months, malnutrition rates remain among the highest in the world, and ongoing insecurity in parts of southern and central Somalia—particularly in areas lacking established local authorities and where al-Shabaab is present—contributes to the complex emergency in Somalia.


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Last updated: February 09, 2017

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