An assessment by Intergovernmental Authority on Development, or IGAD, is one of the most dire yet. The assessment applies to seven member states of IGAD, from Djibouti to Uganda.
More than 50 million people across the East Africa are expected to face acute food insecurity this year. 300,000 in Somalia and South Sudan are projected to be under full-blown famine conditions.
There is a risk of famine in eight areas of Somalia through September “in the event of widespread crop and livestock production failures, spiraling food costs, and in the absence of scaled-up humanitarian assistance,” the assessment by IGAD said.
Three million people face “emergency and catastrophic levels of hunger, risking death," the International Rescue Committee said in a statement, noting that "people have already started dying from starvation and the window to prevent mass deaths is rapidly closing."
The number of people going hungry in Somalia due to drought has nearly doubled since the start of the year, according to the IRC, which saw a 265% increase in admissions for children under 5 with severe malnutrition at just one clinic in Mogadishu between April and May.
Even if the new U.S. funding is fulfilled, “the humanitarian response plan for the region would be funded at 40% of the assessed need," the group warned. "After just over three months, the $1.9 billion appeal for the humanitarian response in Ukraine was 85% funded — a demonstration of the capacity for resource mobilization when the political will exists."