▪ Over the last one year, parts of the eastern Horn of Africa have experienced moderate to severe drought conditions following three consecutive poor rain seasons with significant impact on crop and livestock production, vegetation and water resources, as well as soil moisture.
▪ As of January 2022, the worst affected areas (and experiencing the driest conditions since 1981) were the southern pastoral areas of Ethiopia, northwest Kenya, and large swarths of south-central Somalia.
▪ At least Nine (9) million people are expected to face severe acute food insecurity in the drought-stricken areas of the eastern HoA in the first quarter of 2022. This represents an additional 1 million people since November 2021. Agro-pastoralists in marginal areas and pastoralists are the most hit, having lost significant herds and livestock productivity.
▪ Deyr crop harvests are projected to drop by 60-70% below long-term average in southern Somalia and in marginal agricultural areas in Kenya.
▪ The drought has triggered high food price inflation, reaching levels witnessed during the 2010/11 and the 2015/16 droughts.
▪ Over 2022Q1, the region will experience warmer-than-normal temperatures particularly over Ethiopia, Djibouti, north-eastern Kenya, and southern Somalia which will continue worsening the current drought conditions.
▪ The available rainfall forecasts as of early January 2022 (NMME, IRI, ECMWF, UK Met Office) for March-May season are not conclusive and provide contrasting information. It is key to note that even if an improvement in rainfall condition is realised, it will not have an immediate positive impact on the current dire food insecurity levels given that many pastoralists in the worst affected areas have lost most of their herds while for farmers, any reprieve will only occur around August.
▪ WFP HQ and RB RAM teams are monitoring the situation; and will jointly provide an update of the situation in February when the regional concurrence on the March-May 2022 forecast will be available