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Thursday, 11 August 2011

JRC reports highlight severity of the drought in the Horn of Africa

Two special reports published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) highlight that the current drought in the Greater Horn of Africa is creating the most serious food insecurity situation in the world. The Drought Bulletin for the Greater Horn of Africa and a Special issue of the Food Security Bulletin show a preliminary analysis of the severe drought which is causing a famine in Southern Somalia.he severe impact of the drought affecting the Horn of Africa is due to several factors. A first factor is the shortage of rain over the past 12 months, comparable only to droughts in 1992, 1994 and 2000-2001. A second factor are poor crop harvests linked to the failure of the two previous rainy seasons (October-December 2010 and March-May 2011), in an area where local food production is completely dependent on the rainfall. Further factors are an unstable political situation and fighting, which has caused the a temporary stop of humanitarian aid in some areas, and an increase in food prices.

The most affected territories are the ones between southern Somalia, southern Ethiopia, eastern Kenya, and north-eastern Tanzania. The JRC reports warn that if this situation continues, it could eventually lead to further drought-related problems in these areas in the near future. A large area is also under threat between South Sudan, southern Sudan and western Ethiopia. The JRC will continue its monitoring to assess the situation in the upcoming months.

Source: European Commission (JRC)