Aidlink joins Irish development and humanitarian organisations in calling on the Irish government to lead the urgent mobilisation of aid to 23 million people who are facing extreme hunger in drought-stricken Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.
The region has experienced four successive failed rainy seasons which can be directly attributed to the global climate crisis. This climate-induced drought, compounded by local conflict, unsustainable food systems, economic devastation from the Covid-19 pandemic and the disrupted food and energy systems due to war in Ukraine is creating impossible living conditions for people in the region. Today, one person is likely dying every 48 seconds from hunger across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.
In Kenya, it is predicted that 5 million people will face extreme food insecurity while 775,000 children are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition by September this year. The most marginalised communities find themselves in the teeth of the climate crisis despite being the least responsible. Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia represent just 2.5% of the world’s population and account for only 0.1% of global carbon emissions, whereas China and the USA are responsible for 45% of global carbon emissions.
Moreover, women and girls are disproportionately affected as they care for others and search for water. The likelihood that women and girls will be subjected to sexual and gender-based violence increases during times of drought as the burden of water collection falls on them.