IGAD reinforces action on drought in the Horn of Africa

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Amb. Mahboub Maalim, the IGAD Executive Secretary
Amb. Mahboub Maalim, the IGAD Executive Secretary

Following the harsh reality of the drought situation in the Horn of Africa, the IGAD Member states have initiated early actions to mitigate further adverse impact. This comes as Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda among other African nations are experiencing devastating hunger spells.

The body had made early climate predictions and warnings through advanced scientific modelling and prediction tools provided by member states.

Compared to the 2010 drought, the current depressed rainfall has led to poor vegetation conditions and affected people greatly, while posing danger to livestock as well and adversely affecting food security.

According to the statement made by Intergovernmental Authority on Development on February this year, the Horn of Africa is in the midst of a major drought which has resulted from La Nina and reduced moisture influx due to the cooling of the ocean water in the African Coast.

“Whilst member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development are adept at managing droughts, what makes the current drought alarming in the Equatorial Greater Horn of Africa region is that it follows two consecutive poor rainfall seasons,” remarked  Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, Executive secretary for Intergovernmental Authority Development.

IGAD explained that Somalia and South Sudan have declared drought emergencies while Kenya has announced a doubling of expenditure on food relief to ease pressure in the drought affected Counties. Uganda has shifted some of its development resources to finance emergency response to address food insecurity.

The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia has led the issuance of appeals to support and coordinate actors in an effort to scale up food security.

To fully manage drought, IGAD through its specialized institutions will continue to monitor and provide analysis of the evolving situation in the Horn of Africa, the Body will also lead a multi-humanitarian coordination mechanism to guide recovery process once the situation stabilizes.

Other reinforcement actions by the organization include working with relevant national authorities like UN agencies on integrated regional appeal that will articulate the priority initiatives within the response of member states, support institutional arrangements in capacity building and build resilience to climate –induced disasters.

Certain areas in Djibouti and South Sudan are already under an emergency food security phase according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Classification scale.(IPCC)