Horn of Africa Crisis

About the Crisis


The Horn of Africa is facing increasingly severe drought conditions that are quickly exceeding many people’s ability to cope. Relief agencies estimate that up to 15 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are facing food and water shortages as a result of the ongoing drought, which was triggered by successive poor rainy seasons in the region.

The effects of the drought are most severe in Somalia, where humanitarian conditions are rapidly deteriorating as multiple consecutive poor rainy seasons and ongoing conflict are overwhelming local response capacities. An estimated 6.2 million people in Somalia—more than half the population—face acute food insecurity, and 3.2 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance as a result of water shortages, crop failures, livestock deaths, and rising food prices.

In response, international humanitarian actors are quickly scaling up emergency relief efforts in the affected countries, providing food, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance, while working to realign existing development programs to meet urgent needs on the ground.

Details About the Ongoing Response Efforts

Additional Resources

More information on the U.S. government’s humanitarian response to the Horn of Africa can be found here.

Additional information on humanitarian relief organizations can be found on ReliefWeb, a humanitarian information portal run by the United Nations.


USAID created the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) in 1988 one month after Hurricane Gilbert made landfall as a Category 5 storm that affected 10 countries. An outpouring of unsolicited donations took up space needed to stage and deliver life-saving relief supplies, and USAID and other responders spent valuable time managing unneeded clothing, expired medicine, and other non-critical items. USAID established the Center to educate the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to relief organizations and the downside of donating unsolicited material goods www.cidi.org. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) leads and coordinates the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 65 disasters in more than 50 countries every year. Learn More About USAID/OFDA

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