Severe drought coupled with rapidly increasing food prices related to the war in Ukraine has deepened food insecurity, creating a child malnutrition emergency across the Horn of Africa — the easternmost region of Africa that includes parts or all of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have been hit especially hard. Four consecutive failed rainy seasons 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. Over 1.5 million people have been displaced.
The crisis is considered one of the worst climate change-related disasters of the past 40 years.
New projections show that children and their families in Baidoa and Buurhakaba, part of Somalia's Bay Region, will be facing famine between October and December 2022 unless humanitarian assistance is not significantly increased.
Together with partners, UNICEF is working to reach and treat malnourished children as their numbers continue to soar. Almost two million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are estimated to require urgent treatment for life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.
UNICEF remains the world's largest single procurer of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a nutritious peanut paste and highly effective treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
UNICEF is also accelerating efforts to improve access to safe water and sanitation and strengthen delivery of primary health care services including child immunization, among other emergency interventions.
Learn how UNICEF works to address climate change and its impact on children.
Learn how UNICEF responds to food crises globally.