The Horn of Africa is the most eastern region of Africa – a peninsula in the shape of a horn. Broadly, parts or all of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Kenya make up the Horn of Africa.
The child malnutrition crisis in the Horn of Africa is ongoing, caused by a combination of prolonged drought, rapidly increasing food prices and escalating armed conflict. Three consecutive failed rainy seasons in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have decimated crops and caused abnormally high numbers of lifestock deaths. Meanwhile, shortages of water and pasture are pushing families out their homes and triggering conflict between communities.
Food crises remain ubiquitous across the Horn of Africa. The malnutrition crisis is exacerbated by climate change and COVID-19. Children and families are often forced to flee their homes in search of safety and arable land.
The global response to the malnutrition crisis in the Horn of Africa continues to be immense. UNICEF is one of the largest service providers in Somalia and is the world's largest single procurer of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), the nutritious peanut paste used to treat severely malnourished children. UNICEF’s strategic approach to emergency response and its strong partnerships with local governments and NGOs have helped improve the overall situation in the region. However, millions of people still need humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF's efforts focus on:
Learn how UNICEF works to address climate change and its impact on children.
Learn how UNICEF responds to food crises globally.