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.

On May 24, the U.S. Government announced more than $64 million in new humanitarian assistance for drought-and conflict-affected Somalis. The new assistance includes $30.4 million from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, more than $5.6 million from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP), and $28.1 million from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to meet emergency food, nutrition, health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene needs for internally displaced persons and other vulnerable communities in Somalia and Somali refugees in the region.

The UK, Federal Government of Somalia, UN, and African Union hosted a London Conference on Somalia on May 11, which was attended by representatives from at least 30 countries, including a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Under Secretary of State Thomas A. Shannon. Participants discussed efforts to avert Famine in Somalia, among other issues related to the economic, political, and security situation in the country.

Although the Horn of Africa region remains predominantly dry, early-May rainfall replenished some water sources, particularly in parts of Ethiopia and Kenya. Localized areas of Kenya and Somalia have also experienced flash flooding, which has prevented late-season re-planting for Somalia’s primary agricultural season and displaced nearly 25,000 people across 13 counties of Kenya.

The Government of Ethiopia-led assessment of February-to-June belg rainfall and associated humanitarian needs is scheduled to begin in late May to inform a mid-year revision of the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document.

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: May 25, 2017

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