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The Eastern Horn of Africa faces an exceptional prolonged and persistent agro-pastoral drought sequence

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1- An exceptional three-season drought sequence has struck the Eastern Horn of Africa a. Poor rains in October-December 2020 and March-May 2021 have been followed by an extremely dry October-December 2021 season.

b. All warning systems and indicators converge on exceptional drought. Kenya and Somalia have declared drought emergencies.

c. Rainfall totals and vegetation imagery suggest lowest-on-record values in many areas.

d. The land surface is much hotter than normal.

e. Vegetation conditions and water levels will decay rapidly over the next few months.

2- The food security situation is likely to deteriorate rapidly a. In southern and eastern Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the food security situation has already drastically deteriorated in 2021, with severe food insecurity conditions (IPC Phase 3 "Crisis" and Phase 4 "Emergency") currently prevailing.

b. The prolonged dry weather conditions have resulted in poor harvests and livestock body conditions, leading to a reduction of crop and livestock production which severely affected food availability and access.

c. Poor households are experiencing significant reductions in food access and availability and income, and food prices are rising or expected to rise soon.

d. The impacts of drought conditions in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are intensifying, and there are reports of people migrating to near-by towns in search of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.

3- Climate change and La Niña are working together to produce prolonged and persistent dryness.

a. Current climate forecasts indicate a 90 percent chance of a La Niña-like climate in March-May 2022 and the most recent ICPAC weather assessment anticipates cumulative dry conditions through May 2022. This assessment indicates that even if MAM rains are normal, the region will experience lingering long-term rainfall deficits.

b. Climate change has increased the frequency of poor March-May rains during La Niña-like seasons.

c. A poor March-May 2022 season would result in an unprecedented (since 1981) sequence of four below-normal rainfall seasons, which could further exacerbate the current humanitarian challenges.

4- Scaled-up humanitarian responses are needed.

a. There is urgent need for extensive and coordinated humanitarian responses following the detailed indications of the Global Report on Food Crises September update and latest IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analyses in the region.

b. There is an immediate need to activate and scale-up response mechanisms, especially provision of food, water, nutrition assistance and livelihood protection programs, including water-trucking, feed supply and cash-transfers.

c. There is a need to release government funds to allow the affected districts and localities to provide adequate supplies of food and non-food items.

d. We call on development partners to make available resources for humanitarian response as a priority to save lives and protect livelihoods, and to support ongoing actions by governments, relevant international organizations and other local actors.

e. Due to the observed increase in the frequency of extreme weather events, interventions should not be limited to the immediate humanitarian response. Countries in the region need to become more resilient to climate shocks and need support to fragile livelihoods and agri-food systems.
Access to early warning and risk preparedness information needs to be strengthened and better linked to early action. Development support aiming at improved climate change adaptation and increased food systems sustainability needs to be prioritized.

f. There is a need to renew commitment to medium- and long-term actions to prevent the collapse of local agri-food systems and for the protection of fragile livelihoods in continuity with resiliencebuilding humanitarian aid.

g. We favour the integration of conflict-sensitive approaches, such as promoting social cohesion between displaced and host communities into country programme strategies. or supporting conflict sensitivity approaches between farmers and herders.