Editorial: Communities “will need years to recover” from Horn of Africa drought

22 February 2023

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Humanitarian experts have warned that communities “will need years to recover” from the “historically severe drought” in the Horn of Africa.

Forecasts indicate that the March-May 2023 rainy season in the East African region will once again fail to produce enough rain, leading to loss of livestock and damage to crop growth.

The region usually experiences two rainy seasons a year. If forecasts are correct, this will be the sixth successive failed season.

Christian-majority Ethiopia is among the Horn of Africa countries suffering from the ongoing drought [Image credit: UNICEF/Mulugeta Ayene]

“Regardless of the performance of this year’s major rainy seasons,” states a report published by 15 humanitarian agencies on 16 February, “the sheer scale, severity, and magnitude of suffering already observed means that the region will take many years to fully recover.”

“For families who have lost all of their livestock, rebuilding herds will be a slow process, if possible at all. […] Recovery in cropping zones will also be a challenge, as households have little to no resources left to invest in planting and will require livelihood support to restart activities when favorable rains eventually come.”

Food insecurity is driven by four main factors: natural disasters, diseases, economic downturn and conflict.

This report comes as a reminder that even as the disasters themselves come to an end, their impact can continue to be felt for many years. Even if the rains return, poverty and hunger will continue to cause suffering for millions of people – many of them our brothers and sisters in Christ.

For this reason Barnabas Aid is committed to providing aid and practical support for our Christian family for, God willing, many years to come.

Related Countries

East Africa