Failed Rainy Seasons Create Food Emergency in Eastern Africa


More than 20 million people in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia now face some of the worst food security risks in 35 years.

Following three consecutive failed rainy seasons, more than 20 million people in eastern Africa now face some of the worst food security risks in 35 years. Climate and agriculture experts are advising governments and relief agencies to expect a significant need for food assistance in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Climate change and ongoing La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, half a world away, have contributed to the persistent dry weather and might bring more of it during the next rainy season.

The warnings come from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), a program supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). FEWS NET assembles global and regional analyses of food security (particularly conditions for farming and livestock husbandry) to help governments and relief agencies plan for and respond to humanitarian crises. Several U.S agencies support FEWS NET; NASA provides satellite imagery and climate and weather data.

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