A United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official called for support from the international community to the Horn of Africa as the impacts of extreme weather events worsen.
According to Faith Kasina, spokeswoman of the UNHCR East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region, the long-lasting drought and recent floods caused by El Nino have resulted in hundreds of deaths in East African countries and displaced many more. Crops in these countries have also been destroyed as a result of the floods.
The floods came amid a years-long drought in the horn of Africa. Data from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) showed that severe drought has left more than 20 million people in hunger in the region, with 5.1 million children suffering from severe malnutrition.
“We continue to see the impact of climate change through these aggravated weather events, the prolonged period of drought, severe floods, and how they continue to affect people. Particularly, people who are forced to flee and other displaced populations. So the situation is still very precarious. We are not yet out of the woods, and this is the point and time where we continue to call the international community to really step up their support,” said Kasina.
She stressed that the UNHCR would continue to work with local government and other partners to respond to the extreme weather.
The climate prediction and application center of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) stated that due to the impact of the El Nino, heavy rain is expected to occur in most parts of the Horn of Africa from January to March this year.
The lingering impacts of long-term drought have remained, and the hidden concerns of floods are beginning to trouble local people, putting their lives at risk.