The El Niño-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. Despite the pressing needs, funding to tackle the increasing humanitarian crises in 2023 in the three countries have fallen significantly short by $4.1 billion since in 2023 alone.
More worryingly, some donors such as the UK, Canadian and Germany governments plan to reduce their 2024 humanitarian assistance budget by up to 50%. Oxfam already reported last September that rich nations paid less than 5 percent of the $53.3 billion East Africa needs to confront the climate crisis.
Fati N’Zi-Hassane, Oxfam in Africa Director said:
“East Africa is at the epicentre of climate change despite contributing very little to the greenhouse emissions. We are going from one disaster to the next as climatic shocks become more frequent and intense. The situation remains critical and demands the rich nations to cut their emissions and pay their fair share in humanitarian and climate financing.”
To date, the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plans for Ethiopia and Somalia and the Flash Appeal for Kenya, which together require 7 billion to target 33 million people are jointly 41% funded.
In Somalia, the Juba and Shabelle rivers have burst their banks, washing away homes, farms and livestock as well as bridges and other infrastructure. To date over 1.5 million people are affected by the floods, 456,800 people have been displaced and 53 killed. Heavy rains have intensified in the Puntland, Galmudug, Southwest, Hirshabelle and Jubaland States with further flash flooding anticipated in the coming days and weeks.
With above normal rainfall expected to persist until end of 2023, this will worsen an already grave humanitarian situation where nearly a quarter of the population are expected to face crisis levels of hunger by end of 2020.
In Kenya, the flooding has killed 52 people, uprooted over 15,000 families from their homes and decimated hundreds of acres of farmland and over 1,000 livestock.
In Ethiopia, the Somali regional government has reported that the floods have killed over 52 people, displaced over 39,985 people and affected 108,000 who are facing the loss of their homes and livestock.
Halima Hassan, a mother of six from Daynille, Somalia is now displaced for the second time in a year.
“I lost my home, livestock, nearly everything I had to the drought, my family had to relocate to this site for displaced people where we had just started to rebuild our lives but now comes the flood. The little I had left is gone, my makeshift camp, my six goats. I don’t know where my family will eat next, let alone sleep” she said.
In Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, Oxfam and our partners are providing assistance such as clean water, rapid flexible cash assistance, matched with longer-term support to help communities be more resilient to the changing climate but needs are growing every day and fast outpacing the assistance available to communities.