According to the United Nations, 13 million people in Horn of Africa are suffering severe hunger as a result of the persistent drought conditions.
In spite of "competing priorities", only 3% has been raised to provide food assistance, as the world's attention is now on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam International Executive Director, stated in Nairobi, Kenya, that only 3% of the $6 billion needed for food assistance has been raised.
Bucher stated, "The terrible truth is that East Africa is not on our global agenda at the moment." She said that the world is at risk of "ignoring one of the most serious crises." We couldn't make 2022 the year that hundreds of thousands die in East Africa from an unavoidable Hunger Crisis.
According to the U.N. World Food Program, February saw the driest conditions since 1981 in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The agency warned that more below-average rain forecasts could worsen the situation in the months ahead.
The region has high levels of malnutrition and drought conditions that are threatening pastoral and farming communities.
It "feels like the world is on fire", but donors don't have to make a choice. Bucher stated that all human rights and humanitarian needs must be met. "Our world is capable of doing this," Bucher said.
Somalia is especially vulnerable due to sporadic violence, and there are concerns that the situation may worsen. Many thousands of Somalis fled their homes to seek help.
In 2011, Somalia saw 250,000 people die from hunger after the U.N. declared a state of emergency in certain areas. Half of them were children.
Bucher called for a "life-saving" cash injection in support of local responders who are trying to deal with drought conditions.
She said, "A Somalian life is equal to any other life on the planet."