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

 - 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
 - The seven-year Syrian crisis has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and injured countless civilians. As conflict continues, some 6.3 million people remain displaced inside the country. Another 5 million ...READ MORE
 - Con el inicio de la próxima temporada agrícola de Malí en mayo, se plantea la necesidad urgente de ayudar a que los campesinos desplazados regresen a ...read more
15/02/2013
 - El mundo corre el riesgo de que se repitan los desastrosos brotes de gripe aviar de 2006 a menos que la vigilancia y el control de ...read more
12/02/2013
 - FAO Perú, a través de su Unidad de Coordinación de Emergencias y Rehabilitación (UCER), intervino en las provincias de Atalaya y Coronel Portillo en la región ...read more
24/01/2013
 - Veintidós meses de conflicto han destrozado el sector agrícola de Siria, con una caída a la mitad de la producción de cereales, frutas y verduras y ...read more
23/01/2013
 - En un campo en el norte de Darfur, al campesino Salaheldin Suleiman Hilal se le nota contento. Ha terminado la recolección de su cosecha de dorado ...read more
20/12/2012
 - El procedimiento de llamamientos unificados (CAP) del 29013 llama la atención sobre las necesidades humanitarias agudas en 16 países, y pide apoyo financiero para ayudar a ...read more
14/12/2012
 - Suweisra Mohamed sostiene en su mano un grueso hueso seco de camello con una sonrisa de satisfacción. "Esto vale ahora un montón de dólares", dice, blandiendo ...read more
05/12/2012
 - El presidente de Haití, Michel Joseph Martelly y el Director General de FAO, José Graziano da Silva, pidieron hoy en Roma que aumenten las inversiones en ...read more
22/11/2012
 - La FAO y el Gobierno de Haití están buscando 74 millones dólares EEUU en los próximos 12 meses para ayudar a rehabilitar el sector agrícola del ...read more
06/11/2012
 - La colaboración continua fortalecerá la preparación, vigilancia y respuesta de los países - El compromiso de la FAO para luchar contra la amenaza de las enfermedades ...read more
29/10/2012