Horn of Africa hit by drought and famine

The drought in the Horn of Africa is one of the worst climate related emergencies in the region in the last 40 years. The crisis is having devastating consequences for women and children, destroying livelihoods and hampering access to education. 

Around 10 million children face severe drought conditions across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somaliland and Somalia, according to Unicef. Some areas of Somalia are already at risk of famine due to drought. Across the Horn of Africa, millions of people suffer from dire water shortages. Many water points have dried up or diminished in quality, heightening the risk of water-borne diseases. Families are forced to ration their water use. In some of the worst affected areas in Somalia, water prices have spiked by up to 72% since last November. As thousands of schools lack access to water, 15 million children are already out of school. Children without parental care or at the risk of losing it are especially vulnerable to food insecurity and its multiple effects.

 When my children sleep hungry, I wonder what tomorrow will be like. How will I help my children? I panic and sometimes think l will lose my mind.

Nkatiye, a mother of nine from Kenya



SOS Children's Villages’ emergency response programme in the Horn of Africa consists of both immediate and medium-term strategies. In the immediate term, lifesaving interventions aimed at meeting the basic needs of families will be prioritized, and in the medium-term, families and communities will be supported to adapt to the changing climate and to become more resilient.

Our emergency response and longer-term actions are:

  • Increase access to sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services and emergency WASH kits.
  • Ensure access to food and other basic needs through multipurpose cash grants or vouchers to households.
  • Provide interim alternative care to children, as well as temporary shelter, mental health and psychosocial support to children and their families.
  • Assist communities affected by the drought and food crisis to recover and strengthen people’s livelihoods to improve food security.