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. 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.
For many people in East Africa, the current drought is the worst in living memory. Nomadic pastoralists are among the hardest hit. Their livestock is completely wiped out, meaning they have no means to feed themselves. In eastern Somaliland, Oxfam witnessed entire communities on the move, desperately searching for water and pasture.
Climate change is not a distant, future threat. Right now, it is helping fuel a massive crisis in the Horn of Africa region. Nearly 11 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya face terrifying food shortages, due to a catastrophic drought that has killed off crops and cattle. Urgent action is needed now.
Although the El Niño weather event has ended, the humanitarian needs resulting from the drought in Southern Africa remain huge, and are still deepening.
The lingering effects of El Niño have affected around 7 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Oxfam and its local partners have been helping some of the most vulnerable people in the region to become more resilient to extreme weather patterns.
The devastating impacts of the 2015–16 El Niño will be felt well into 2017. There is an urgent need for humanitarian action where the situation is already dire, to prepare for La Niña later this year, to commit to new measures to build communities’ resilience, and to mobilize global action to address climate change
The Malawi government has launched a Humanitarian Response Plan for people affected by drought, but lives could be at risk unless more money is found soon.
About 60 million people across the world face worsening hunger and poverty due to droughts and crop failures in 2014/5. The situation has been exacerbated by the worst ever recorded El Niño weather system and the number of people struggling to survive is likely to rise. Hear their stories.
We must not lose sight of the millions of people around the world who won’t have access to water as a super El Niño, boosted by climate change, will deepen drought and leave entire communities without enough food. Read their stories.
Donors and Southern African governments must act swiftly, collaboratively, and generously in responding to the South African Development Community’s (SADC) announcement of a regional drought emergency triggered by El Nino, warn Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE.