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Horn of Africa faces unprecedented drought with catastrophic results: UN report

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Horn of Africa

– The Horn of Africa is facing an unprecedented drought emergency with catastrophic consequences, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned on Tuesday.

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UNOCHA said in its latest update on the drought situation in the Horn of Africa that the situation could worsen further amid deteriorating weather conditions in the affected countries.

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“Communities in the Horn of Africa are in the midst of a likely fifth consecutive failed rainy season, with the October-December 2022 rains starting poorly and forecasts indicate they are likely to underperform, and may face a failed sixth season in March by May 2023,” UNOCHA said.

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The October-December 2020, March-May 2021, October-December 2021, and March-May 2022 seasons were marred by below-average rainfall, leaving large swaths of Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia and northern and eastern Kenya facing the worst conditions. prolonged drought in recent history, while the rainy season from March to May 2022 was the driest on record in 70 years, he said.

He said the 2020-2022 drought has now surpassed the horrifying 2010-2011 and 2016-2017 droughts in both duration and severity and will continue to deepen in the coming months, with catastrophic consequences.

UNOCHA further warned that the ongoing drought situation is devastating affected communities, with spiraling needs.

Across the Horn of Africa, at least 36.4 million people will be affected by the longest and most severe drought in recent history in the final months of 2022, including 24.1 million in Ethiopia, 7.8 million in Somalia and 4.5 million in Kenya, according to UNOCHA figures. ■

(Xinhua)

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