Home World News Inside Africa WFP warns of severe floods set to worsen food shortages in eastern Africa

WFP warns of severe floods set to worsen food shortages in eastern Africa


The World Food Program (WFP) on Thursday warned that the devastating floods threaten to worsen food insecurity across eastern Africa, threatening more hunger.

WFP said that nearly 3 million people have been affected, with more than 1.2 million displaced as heavy rains lash a region that less than a year ago was in the grips of drought.

Michael Dunford, WFP regional director in Eastern Africa, said the region is being lashed by the extremes of climate change — from “no water to too much water is resulting in a catastrophe.”

“Severe floods are causing devastation, illustrating how an erratic climate continues to punish the region. With more rain forecast, I fear that the worst is yet to come,” Dunford warned in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

According to WFP, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are bearing the brunt of this crisis, closely followed by Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, and Uganda.

According to weather experts, the unusually heavy rains caused by the El Nino phenomenon are expected to persist until early 2024.

WFP said climate change continues to wreak havoc in eastern Africa, a region with minimal emissions yet which bears the brunt of the global climate emergency.

It said the consecutive failed rainy seasons from 2020 to 2022 resulted in a devastating drought that pushed millions into food insecurity and malnutrition as livelihoods were destroyed at a massive scale — damage that will take families and communities many years to recover.

Dunford called on developed nations at the UN climate change conference underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to step up and assist countries, like Somalia and Ethiopia, which are disproportionately paying a high price for the climate crisis.

“We need to break the never-ending cycle of crisis and respond with climate action that focuses on preparedness and protection before predictable shocks hit,” he stressed.

WFP said since the start of the October-December rains, rainfall 140 percent above average has destroyed property, infrastructure, and crops, and washed away livestock while scores of lives have also been lost.

The UN agency said it has provided food and cash assistance to nearly 580,000 people affected by the floods across the Horn of Africa, in addition to those supported through its pre-existing relief operations.

Dunford said that WFP is supporting governments and humanitarian partners with logistics services across the region.

“However, the scale of the crisis demands more support and expanding our operations. We are actively working to secure additional resources to reach up to 2 million more people affected by the floods. The need is urgent, and we cannot do it alone,” he added.

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