The 2006 Horn of Africa food crisis is an acute shortage of food affecting four Horn of Africa countries: Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The United Nations's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated on January 6, 2006, that more than 11 million people in these countries may be affected by an impending widespread famine, largely attributed to a severe drought, and exacerbated by military conflicts in the region.
These conditions of drought
, together with other factors including high cereal prices, overpopulation in the region, and conflict, are leading to conditions of famine
. In the present 2006 drought, claims about factors transforming drought into famine include a ban on livestock imports to markets in the Persian Gulf States
, which has reduced the income of livestock-dependent farmers, further increasing food insecurity
. The next chance for drought relief is in March, with the next rainy season.
is severely drought affected; the FAO
estimates that about one third of the population (400 000 people) need food aid.
The FAO estimates more than one million people in the Somali Region
are facing severe food shortages. Although crops are currently being harvested, shortages are still expected to occur in the country's south-east.
Crop failure, drought and depleted livestock herds have led to famine conditions in Kenya
, particularly in the northern and eastern pastoral districts of Mandera
, and Marsabit
. As of January 6
, approximately 30 deaths have been reported. Some 2.5 million people (10% of the population) require food aid over the next six months. President Mwai Kibaki
has declared a national disaster.
The situation in Somalia
is the worst of the four countries. About two million people in the country's southern pastoral regions require humanitarian assistance. The lack of a very long and hard central government and poor transportation infrastructure pose problems for the distribution of food aid.
In February 2006, UNICEF
warned that 1.5 million children under the age of five are being threatened by the drought and called for USD$16 million to help fund its relief efforts in the region.