FAO-EU partnership

Dealing with drought

The roots of hunger in the Horn of Africa

30 March 2009, Nairobi/Rome -  In partnership with FAO and civil society, the European Union (EU) is working to address the underlying causes of hunger in the Horn of Africa. A crisis flared up this year due to a toxic mix of drought, soaring food prices, conflict and population growth. But long term solutions are required.

Despite good crop prospects foreseen in December 2008 and with showers providing relief in parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia that had suffered from repeated failed seasons, the UN's latest Horn of Africa Crisis Report, issued on 6 February 2009, warned that an estimated 19.8 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa.

This may seem contradictory. But one season of fair rains is hardly enough for those most affected, the Horn's pastoral people, who have suffered heavy losses of livestock over previous droughts and need more time to replenish their herds.

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