Horn of Africa Malnutrition Crisis | UNICEF USA
On 9 July, a woman and several children walk through a dust storm to their tent, in an area for new arrivals in the Dagahaley refugee camp in North Eastern Province, near the Kenya-Somalia border. The camp is among three that comprise the Dadaab camps, lo


Where is the Horn of Africa?

The Horn of Africa is the easternmost 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. 

What is the Horn of Africa malnutrition crisis?

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. Four 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 — with children and families often forced to flee their homes in search of safety and arable land — a situation that has only gotten worse due to climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. . 

UNICEF’s response to the Horn of Africa malnutrition crisis

The global response to the malnutrition crisis in the Horn of Africa continues to be immense. UNICEF remains the world's largest single procurer of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a nutritious peanut paste and highly effective treatment for severely malnourished children.

UNICEF’s strategic approach to emergency response, together with 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. 

Help save children’s lives by donating. Just $55 can provide a two-month supply of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food — enough to restore the health of a severely malnourished child.