Across the Greater Horn of Africa, humanitarian needs are rising, as communities grapple with multiple and simultaneous shocks, including desert locust swarms, floods, COVID-19 and violence.
An estimated 22.5 million people are severely food insecure in Ethiopia,Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, and the situation could escalate dramatically in the period ahead. New swarms of desert locusts are forming and maturing, coinciding with the beginning of the long rains and the planting season; foreshadowing significant potential crop losses, especially in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. At the same time, at least 6.4 million children across the region are no longer receiving school meals due to COVID-19-related school closures, potential exacerbating malnutrition.
Across the Greater Horn of Africa, some 10.8 million people remain forcibly displaced—8.1 million internally displaced people and 2.7 million refugees—including at least 2.1 million people living in camps or camp-like settings. However, the closure of borders due to COVID-19 has impacted access to asylum in the region.
All countries in the region have confirmed COVID-19 cases, compounding already significant humanitarian needs and adding pressure to already overstretched healthcare systems, with immediate consequences for sexual and reproductive healthcare. At the same time, several countries in the Horn of Africa are experiencing flooding and landslides, including Djibouti and Kenya, and further rainfall is forecast. The combination of these shocks is likely to significantly increase protection risks, with anecdotal reporting indicating rising rates of domestic violence, gender-based violence and child abuse.