Inicio  > Crisis > Crisis in the Horn of Africa

FAO in emergencies app

Download now!

Connect with us

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

In 2011, the Horn of Africa (HoA) faced one of the driest years since 1950/51, causing a food crisis that escalated into famine in parts of the region, such as southern Somalia. By the end of July 2011, some 12.4 million people were in need of urgent assistance not only to save their lives, but also to recover their livelihoods; this number nearly doubled in the subsequent months given the rapid deterioration of the situation.

In order to both respond to the crisis and ensure that communities are better equipped to cope with droughts in the future, FAO has assisted local populations and governments with:

  • Rehabilitating water sources and establishing small-scale irrigation systems
  • Distributing seeds, tools and other agricultural inputs
  • Providing plant and animal disease control
  • Carrying out animal vaccination campaigns
  • Supporting coordination of food and nutrition security strategies, conducting real-time analysis of changing conditions and issuing timely reports of the current status of hazards, risks and vulnerabilities in the region
  • Implementing cash-for-work activities

About 80 percent of people in HoA rely on agriculture and pastoralism as their primary source of food and income. In the fight against hunger, it is essential that more focus be placed on restoring, protecting and strengthening the means of agriculture and pastoral dependent groups to continue their way of life and to increase their resilience to future climatic shocks.

Compared to the beginning of the 1990s, productivity in some parts of the region (for staple food crops per land area) has strongly increased. However, with rapid population growth, reduced arable land by subsistence farmers and migration to marginal lands, the deepening effects of climate change and continued marginalization of Horn of African economies in the global economy, there is increased pressure on the Horn’s relatively scarce resources. The situation has been exacerbated by high local cereal prices, excessive livestock mortality, conflict and restricted humanitarian access in some areas, which contribute to the challenges in the efforts to break the cycle of food insecurity.

Drought is a chronic hazard in the region, and has been for centuries. Pastoralism, and in particular agropastoralism, is a dynamic and sustainable livelihood system that has adapted to the particularly harsh conditions in many areas of the HoA. In fact, about 80 percent of the people in this region rely on agriculture and pastoralism as their primary source of food and income. In the fight against hunger, it is essential that more focus be placed on restoring, protecting and strengthening the means of agriculture and pastoral dependent groups to continue their way of life and to increase their resilience to future climatic shocks. 

The provision of agricultural assistance promotes stability and thus prevents food crises from worsening in these affected countries, while also limiting the negative impact of further reductions in food supplies. It also contributes to preventing displacement, unemployment, the sale of productive assets, the worsening of health indicators and dependence on food aid and other forms of relief assistance.

Related Topics

 - Since 25 August 2017, an estimated 693 000 Rohingya refugees escaping violence in Myanmar have sought protection in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – increasing the area’s refugee population to nearly 900 ...READ MORE
 - The protracted conflict and ongoing economic crisis in Iraq has left 3.2 million people food insecure, including those who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Violence continues to force people ...READ MORE
 - Proteger a las personas y los animales de las amenazas de enfermedades.
09/03/2018
 - Una asociación entre los Estados Unidos y la FAO que trabaja para fortalecer la capacidad de los países en desarrollo para controlar brotes de enfermedades en ...read more
09/03/2018
 - En el mundo persisten elevados niveles de inseguridad alimentaria, debido en gran parte a los conflictos y a impactos climáticos adversos que están teniendo graves consecuencias, ...read more
05/03/2018
 - Más de 7 millones de personas en Sudán del Sur -casi dos tercios de la población- podrían padecer una grave inseguridad alimentaria en los próximos meses ...read more
01/03/2018
 - Ante la amenaza de la infestación de millones de hectáreas de maíz -la mayoría a cargo de pequeños agricultores- a causa de la incesante propagación del ...read more
16/02/2018
 - La FAO ayudó a las poblaciones afectadas por la crisis en más de 50 países.
08/02/2018
 - Alrededor de 124 millones de personas en 51 países se enfrentan a una situación de Crisis de inseguridad alimentaria o peor.
08/02/2018
 - En 2017, conflictos, sequías, inundaciones, deslizamientos de tierra, huracanes, incendios forestales, plagas y enfermedades de animales y plantas amenazaron la seguridad alimentaria en todo el mundo. ...read more
08/02/2018
 - Con las crisis provocadas por los conflictos y el cambio climático haciendo que -tras décadas de descenso- la cifra de víctimas del hambre en el mundo suba de ...read more
08/02/2018
 - La Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO) solicita con urgencia 7,5 millones de dólares EEUU para desplegar una campaña de ...read more
23/01/2018