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16.04.2022

Extreme drought in East Africa: Swiss Solidarity opens donations account

East Africa is in the grip of an extreme drought, a disastrous situation exacerbated by three particularly dry rainy seasons in a row. In addition, conflicts, economic crises and the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine are threatening the food supply, with prices rising and, in some cases, even doubling. In the Horn of Africa alone, between 13.1 and 14.1 million people are facing food and water shortages. To help these people in need, we have opened a donations account for drought relief in East Africa.

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A situation that has been deteriorating for years

The Horn of Africa—Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia—along with Sudan and South Sudan, are currently experiencing an extreme drought that has been worsening steadily over the past few years. Three rainy seasons in a row brought record low rainfall—in October 2020, March 2021 and October 2021—which has led to unprecedented drought affecting Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, and eastern Kenya. In Sudan and South Sudan, conflicts, an economic crisis and poor harvests have only worsened an already dire situation.

The crisis at a glance:

“We must do everything possible to avert a hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system. [...] This war goes far beyond Ukraine. It is also an assault on the world’s most vulnerable people and countries.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Famine, a looming humanitarian disaster

Because of a recurring, climate-induced lack of rainfall and the resulting drought, people are unable to set aside provisions for bad times and are already relying on aid. Without wheat from Ukraine and Russia, people in East Africa are losing their ability to grow crops for themselves and food prices are skyrocketing. According to UN data, global food prices have reached their highest level ever recorded.

The world’s 45 least developed countries import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia—these include Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, which imports 90% of its wheat from the two countries. “Now their breadbasket is being bombed”, says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Furthermore, due to the staggering humanitarian needs in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, East Africa is losing out on urgently needed aid funds from states, organisations and the public.

Considering all these factors, we fear that yet another humanitarian disaster is imminent. In response, we have opened a donations account for the drought in East Africa. A number of our Swiss partner organisations are already in the affected countries, providing urgently needed assistance.

Thank you for your solidarity!

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