Oxfam, an international charity organization, has warned of the lack of adequate international support for East African countries as El Nino rains wreak havoc across the region.
“The El Nino-induced heavy rains and flash flooding killed 130 people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, while the region is still reeling from one of the most severe droughts in 40 years,” Oxfam said in a press statement published on its website late Tuesday.
Despite the pressing needs, funding to tackle the increasing humanitarian crises in 2023 in the three affected East African countries has fallen significantly short by 4.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2023 alone, the charity organization warned.
“East Africa is at the epicenter of climate change despite contributing very little to greenhouse emissions. We are going from one disaster to the next as climatic shocks become more frequent and intense,” the statement quoted Fati N’Zi Hassane, Africa director of Oxfam, as saying.
The director stressed that the situation remains critical and demands that rich nations cut their emissions and pay their fair share in humanitarian and climate financing.
The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plans for Ethiopia and Somalia and the Flash Appeal for Kenya, which together require 7 billion dollars to target 33 million people, are jointly 41 percent funded to date, according to data from Oxfam.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that countries in the Horn of Africa are facing severe challenges as extreme weather events and food insecurity persist.
The WHO said the region has continued to face extreme weather events, including drought and flooding, and the impacts of these events are likely to be exacerbated by the onset of El Nino.
According to the WHO, more than 61 million people in the region are in a state of crisis and above, facing elevated levels of acute food insecurity. It further said the deterioration of the nutritional situation has led to an estimated 30 percent increase in the number of children with acute malnutrition in hotspot areas.