Cross-sector cooperation needed to combat East Africa’s hunger crisis


The combination of drought, El Niño and conflict has left East Africa struggling to survive. The region is facing a monumental hunger crisis with 24 million people affected in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan. More than 15 million children in the region are facing health risks due to ongoing drought and insecurity.

Of them approximately 800,000 are severely malnourished and at risk of starvation. This largely pastoral region has been hit particularly hard by drought which resulted in an immense loss of livestock.

A prolonged drought in the south and east regions of Ethiopia, which began two years ago, is affecting 8.5 million people. These conditions are not expected to improve as the October-December rains are expected to be below normal, leaving the country with little chance of recovery.

Drought in the north and east regions of Kenya left 3.4 million people in need of food aid and clean water. Somalia has also faced a two-year long drought.

Coupled with insecurity, this hunger crisis is affecting 6.2 million people in the country. In South Sudan, half of the population – approximately 6 million people – is facing a hunger crisis. This has been exacerbated by conflict preventing food aid from reaching the affected people.

The UN has called on more investment in long-term projects and cooperation among governments and organisations in order to combat the growing food crisis

Investment in long-term projects to protect people from drought is necessary to prevent another widespread food crisis. It has become far too big of a crisis for individual entities to combat it alone, and collaboration and synergy between UN, NGOs and governments is vital to preventing large-scale devastation.

More than 350 humanitarian and development leaders, decision makers and advisors committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region will gather on 27-28 February 2018in Nairobi, Kenya to take part in the Aid and Development Africa Summit.

Expert speakers including Sunya Orre, Director of Technical Services, National Drought Management Authority, Olawale Maiyegun, Director, Department of Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Esther Muiruri, Board Member, Kenya Red Cross Society, Mathias Lardinois, Programme Coordinator, Belgian Food Security Programme, Raphael Obonyo, Africa’s Representative to the Global Coordination Board, World Bank Group and Walter Odero, Country Economist, African Development Bank Group will examine disaster response activities to recent drought in East Africa, identifying best practice, challenges and how to ensure effective drought response and humanitarian aid coordination.

A particular focus will be given to improving preparedness and proactive mitigation, risk management, community engagement and initiatives for ensuring better recovery and resilience to drought. The agenda will also explore ways to incorporate governmental and private insurance, donor community resources, and financial strategies into drought preparedness plans in East Africa.

Save the date and reserve your participation now to be part of the most influential aid and development conference in Africa.

For more information about the Aid & Development Africa Summit, please visit or get in touch with Alina O’Keeffe, Head of Marketing, Aid & international Development Forum (AIDF) at

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