Horn of Africa Crisis

About the Crisis


Severe drought conditions in the Horn of Africa have exceeded many people’s ability to cope. Relief agencies estimate that more than 18 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are facing severe food insecurity 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 and southeastern Ethiopia. In Somalia, an estimated 6.2 million people—more than half the population—need urgent humanitarian assistance as a result of water shortages, crop failures, livestock deaths, and rising food prices, and approximately 1.2 million children ages five and under are expected to experience acute malnutrition in 2018. In Ethiopia, the Somali region, home to nearly 40 percent of the country’s 8.5 million people facing food insecurity, has been the worst affected by drought.

In response, international humanitarian actors have scaled 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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