Pounding rains in East Africa caused by the El Nino weather system have killed over 100 people in Kenya alone, according to the UN.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday released a report in the capital Nairobi, revealing that more than 18 million people in the greater Horn of Africa region are facing a crisis and are in dire need of food aid.
Speaking during a press conference, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Mahboub Maalim, said that Ethiopia was the worst affected by the El Nino rains.
“In Ethiopia over 10.2 million people are food insecure; unlike in Kenya where there is flooding, Ethiopia and other countries in the northern sector of the greater Horn of Africa region are facing severe drought,” Maalim said.
“Sudan has 3.6 million facing hunger while South Sudan and Kenya have 3.6 million and 300,000 people respectively who are food insecure,” he added.
Pete Manfield, head of the OCHA for East Africa, said that the El Nino phenomenon had affected the northern part of the greater Horn of Africa differently compared to the equatorial region.
People were “experiencing severe drought, while at the equator we can see rain which is above average.”
“We call on all governments to aid in providing food and shelter for those who are displaced and food insecure,” Manfield said.
He noted that around 300,000 people were currently displaced; “70,000 in Kenya, 60,000 in Somalia and the rest dispersed throughout the rest of the region.”
The UN is asking international donors to ensure that they bring forward 2016 humanitarian funding to be available now to support and compliment governments’ efforts.