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Horn of Africa Drought - Executive Brief 4 August 2011
The Horn of Africa is currently facing a severe food security crisis that threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 12 million people. The crisis is the result of a combination of poor, erratic and failed rains over two rainy seasons, a marked increase in the price of food stuffs, and continued conflicts that have forced millions of people in the region to flee their homes. In five regions of southern Somalia, famine conditions now exist, forcing increasing numbers of people to seek assistance in Mogadishu and in neighbouring countries.
Agriculture is a core survival strategy in the Horn of Africa and serves as the main source of food and income for an estimated 80 percent of the region’s population. This crisis requires strategies that simultaneously focus on saving lives and livelihoods, while building longer-term resilience. Providing support through agriculture and livestock not only provides essential food, but an income for families.
In other parts of the region, conflicts and rising food prices have contributed to worrying food security situation, such as in the Sudan and newly independent South Sudan. At the same time, two poor rainfall seasons have placed the food security and livelihoods of pastoralists in northern Uganda at risk.