• The meeting was officially opened by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Col (RTD) Hared Hassan in Naivasha.
• He said the number of people facing acute food insecurity had risen to 4.9 million in March this year, up from 2.5 million in December 2021.
More than 100 million people in Africa live in cross-border areas of the Horn regions where most of them experience recurrent shocks and disasters such as drought, floods and conflicts.
At a time when the Horn of Africa is recovering from one of the worst droughts experienced over the last four decades, stakeholders are burning midnight oil as they seek for ways to enhance synergy and collaboration in dealing with the shocks and disasters while cultivating peace among communities.
In Naivasha, over 200 delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan have gathered for a four-day peer-to-peer Regional Knowledge Sharing Meeting (RKSM) to discuss how to work towards Humanitarian Development Peace (HDP) coherence in food crisis contexts.
The meeting was officially opened on Thursday by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Col (RTD) Hared Hassan who said the number of people facing acute food insecurity had risen to 4.9 million in March this year, up from 2.5 million in December 2021.
He said this was besides close to one million children aged under five years and over 142,000 expectant and nursing mothers who were exposed to acute malnutrition.
“Though the ongoing long rains have reduced drought severity, recovery will take several months,” he said.
Hassan added that flash floods have been reported in many areas, leaving people displaced and a significant number of livestock dead.
He said NDMA was currently supporting drought recovery alongside relief assistance to communities affected by floods.
USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security and overall USAID Resilience Coordinator, Mia Beers noted that the region would continue facing shocks.
She cited the recent drought, Covid-19 pandemic and the current war in Sudan as examples of crisis affect the Horn of Africa.
Beers called for resilience and coherence building across humanitarian, development and peace programmes.
"Needs continue to outpace resources due to the compounding shocks coupled with population growth, climate change and migration,” she said.
Beers told stakeholders and partners in the affected region that they cannot continue doing things the way they had been and underscored the need to find ways that would have more impact in a resource constrained environment.
USAID Kenya and East Africa Mission Deputy Mission Director, Sheila Roquitte said it was essential to move beyond life saving aid and ensure that investments build people’s resilience to the next crisis.
She called upon delegates to find practical ways to serve communities adding that they deserved better.