•The forum will discuss the drought situation and enhance the ability of Member States to collect and process data for disaster forecasting
•Scientists have again predicted that rains will fail for the sixth consecutive season, pushing millions close to death
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development has convened a meeting with member states on February 20 as the drought situation continues to worsen.
IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu said the ‘Regional Climate Outlook Forum’ will discuss the drought situation and enhance the ability of Member States to collect and process data for disaster forecasting.
The measures proposed will help reduce the gap between early warning and early action, the official said.
IGAD is a consortium of eight countries under the African Union Commission.
They include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
These eight countries cumulatively host a population of 300 million people.
“2021-20122 were some of the most challenging years in the history of IGAD. It was one of the hottest, driest and most conflict-affected periods for our region in recent memory,” Gebeyehu said.
“IGAD worked diligently to respond to the challenges posed by the global pandemic, climate change, the persistent drought, pest invasions and seasonal flooding, all of which combined contributed to a dire regional food security situation,” he added.
The official has acknowledged that the region remains in the grip of a relentless drought that has lasted for more than two years warning that the situation is still a concern.
This is after climate scientists issued an early warning that this year could be even warmer.
Scientists have again predicted that rains will fail for the sixth consecutive season, pushing millions close to death.
“Climate scientists have issued an early warning that this year could be even warmer because the La Nina climate phenomenon which was cooling global temperatures is coming to an end. It will be most likely replaced by the El Nino phenomenon which is projected to raise temperatures worldwide,” he said.
Data by IGAG shows the drought affected over 10 per cent of the population in the region, with 36.1 million people facing heightened levels of food insecurity.
He has further noted that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has had a massive effect on the regional economy and inflated the prices of food, fertilizer and fuel.