Eight African ministers from the Horn of African region, including three MENA states, have agreed to develop a joint comprehensive food security roadmap amid a growing regional famine, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said in a statement on Tuesday. “The failure of four consecutive rainfall seasons over the last three years has pushed communities in Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) areas, which are most vulnerable to recurrent droughts, over the brink,” IGAD said following a two-day meeting in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. A potential fifth consecutive failed rainfall season could be ahead for the region, which is already suffering its worst persistent drought in 40 years.
IGAD comprises eight members, including the MENA states Djibouti, Somalia, and Sudan, as well as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda. The ministers and heads of delegations in Nairobi said the roadmap would bolster famine-prevention efforts, food systems, resilience, and cross-border trade within the region.
About 50 million people in the Horn of Africa are expected to face acute food insecurity by the end of 2022. The region has been rocked by several simultaneous crises, including the effects of climate change, political strife, conflicts over scarce resources, economic decline, rising food and fuel prices, and global inflation. Around 24% of the world’s internally displaced people, who are particularly at risk, and 22% of the world’s acutely food-insecure people, live in the region. The latter group includes 10 million children under the age of 5 who are suffering from severe and acute malnutrition.