The failure of the 2016 October-December rains across parts of the Horn of Africa has led to a devastating drought in Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya. More than 15 million people in these three countries are facing food and water shortages, and famine is now a possibility in Somalia.

The drought follows one of the strongest El Niño events on record, and many of the affected areas have seen the failure of successive rains, with cumulative impacts that have exhausted the coping strategies of vulnerable communities.

Forecasts suggest the next rains in affected areas – expected from March-May – may also be below-average.

In Somalia, 5 million people need humanitarian assistance. In Ethiopia, 5.6 million people need emergency food assistance and 9.2 million require safe water. In Kenya, 1.3 million people are facing food shortages.

Read the January 2017 report from Inter-Agency Working Group on Disaster Preparedness for East and Central Africa at ReliefWeb.

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