ADDIS ABABA, March 30 (Xinhua) — A large-scale climate-induced humanitarian crisis has unfolded in the Horn of Africa (HOA), including in Ethiopia where 6.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has warned.

The IFRC, in its report entitled “Hunger Crisis Appeal” issued late Tuesday, said millions of households across Horn of Africa countries that are Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia now face the effects of multiple concurrent shocks including aggravated food insecurity. “Millions of men, women and children are facing hunger and malnutrition,” the IFRC said, as it expressed its serious concern that another failed rainy season will bring further devastation to the lives of people who have already endured multiple climate disasters. As of March 2022, 13.3 million people were severely food insecure in the Horn of Africa, and acute malnutrition rates have increased considerably, affecting 5.5 million children, according to figures from the IFRC.

Intertwined with drought, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, and the arid and semi-arid lands areas of Kenya and Somalia have been affected by three exceptionally wet seasons, with widespread floods, displacement, and a locust outbreak that was the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and Somalia, and in 75 years in Kenya. The IFRC said the exceptional series of consecutive drought and flood shocks are having devastating impacts on agriculture, rangelands and water resources, leading to a sharp decrease in food availability and access due to concerning food production shortages.

In East Africa, food prices have been rising for many months in drought-affected areas, due to a combination of macro-economic challenges and below-average harvests, leaving families unable to afford even basic items.The IFRC further warned that in addition to the preexisting shocks, the crisis in Ukraine will mean disrupted supply chains of wheat to the Horn of Africa, a region highly dependent on imports from Russia and Ukraine, adding the condition could have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people who are already facing acute hunger.