A further 20 million risk falling into this category if humanitarian assistance is not mobilised in the next few months, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) warned in submissions it made at its annual disaster Resilience Share Fair meeting in Nairobi last week.
Just like in 2018, the 2019 below-average rains, conflict and economic crisis continue to drive food insecurity in the region, with Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan expected to remain among countries facing severe food crisis in the world.
Compared with last year, updated projections for 2019 as of July indicated that food insecurity levels will likely be higher in South Sudan and Sudan, remain stable in Ethiopia and Uganda, and be lower in Kenya and Somalia.
Delegates at the Igad meeting called for cross-border co-operation for the movement of food from the food-abundance regions to scarcity areas. The German development agency GIZ, has already offered $6 million for mitigation.
The Resilience Share Fair is meant to disseminate resilience good practices and lessons learnt from the Igad region to increase knowledge on better preparedness and response to drought and other shocks affecting communities in the region.