Despite humanitarian mobilisation and emergency relief, drought, conflict and povertyleft more than ten million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in 2011. Dubbed the world's most severe food crisis, it increased the daily risks for millions of already vulnerable people.
The effects of climate change, combined with high local cereal prices and increasing livestock mortality and conflict furthermore exacerbated the impacts of the drought.
The food crisis caused massive displacement in Somalia. 80 percent of refugees who arrived in neighbouring Kenya were women and children. As is often the case, women were disproportionally affected by the drought.
CARE's emergency response in the Horn of Africa included assistance for commercial and slaughter de-stocking of animals; therapeutic and supplementary feeding; cash transfers to households affected with children suffering from severe malnutrition; provision of water through water tankering; distribution of water treatment supplies; training on safe hygiene and supporting people to make a living through cash-for-work programmes. In the refugee camps of Dadaab, CARE is the primary distributor of food, water and primary education for the more than 440,000 refugees.
CARE's response to the food insecurity in the Horn of Africa:
Beneficiaries reached to date: 700,000
CARE Ethiopia responded to the drought and food insecurity emergency in the regions of Afar and Oromia (Borena, East and West Hararghe zones), which were the most affected areas in the country. CARE focused on food assistance, nutrition, water and sanitation interventions such as water point rehabilitation, distribution of water treatment chemicals and hygiene promotion. Since livestock are a crucial livelihoods asset for pastoralist communities, CARE Ethiopia implemented livestock interventions comprising of slaughter destocking, animal feed and support to zonal animal health authorities.
Its emergency response has already impacted the lives of more than 700,000 people through both short-term emergency relief and long-term livelihood strategies.
Somalia (Puntland and Somaliland)
Beneficiaries reached to date: 150,000
CARE responded by rehabilitating water harvesting structures such as water pans, shallow wells; supporting livelihoods by implementing cash-for-work programs and cash relief to most vulnerable households in the affected areas. CARE assisted over 150,000 people with water and sanitation, support livelihoods, and support to internally displaced people. CARE continues to prepare for the next dry season.
Despite rebel Somali fighters reopening access to humanitarian aid, agencies still have limited access and capacity to deliver lifesaving assistance in the worst-affected areas of Somalia. As part of the larger humanitarian community in Somalia, CARE has been urging major donors as well as various local authorities to facilitate access to south-central Somalia to enable us to provide assistance where it's needed most.
Beneficiaries reached to date: 940,000
In addition to our work serving the 460,000 residents in the Dadaab camps, CARE scaled up its response to assist an additional 200,000 people in the north-eastern parts of the country. In this hard-hit region, CARE has been addressing drought conditions with emphasis on addressing long-term vulnerabilities and strengthening community resilience. The Country Office emphasises disaster risk management measures owned by the local communities. CARE Kenya supported district veterinary department teams to vaccinate animals against expected increase in diseases. In times of drought disease outbreaks which may occur as a result of animals congregating at the remaining water sources.
CARE also responded through maintenance, protection and development of water resources; encouraging improved hygiene practices and infrastructure. CARE also supported animal herders to find more diverse sources of income; and supported grazing management by councils of elders.
CARE partnered with a financial institution and both public and private abattoirs to increase livestock sales, reducing the number of animals relying on limited pasture and helping families in need to access money.
Read more about how the European Commission supported CARE to meet the needs of those caught up in the world’s most severe food crisis: