A climate in crisis

How climate change is making drought and humanitarian disaster worse in East Africa

Nearly eleven million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are dangerously hungry and in need of humanitarian assistance. The worst drought-affected areas in Somalia are on the brink of famine.

There is growing scientific analysis suggesting that the impacts of current and recent droughts in East Africa are likely to have been aggravated by climate change. Climate change is not a distant, future threat. As this briefing explains, it is helping fuel this emerging catastrophe in which poverty, chronic malnutrition, weak governance, conflict, drought and climate change have combined to create a perfect storm.

Governments across the region and around the world need to take responsibility and provide humanitarian assistance to save lives now. Humanitarian aid needs to be coupled with longer term support to promote the resilience of pastoralists and smallholder food producers. Without global efforts to reduce emissions and to help the world’s poorest people cope with the effects of climate change, this crisis will continue to repeat itself.