WHO Health Emergency Appeal: Drought crises in the Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa
Support healthcare operations and help to save lives.
WHO intensifies its healthcare response in the Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa.
The health risks in the region are increasing, while access to health care is deteriorating.
Health emergency in the Greater Horn of Africa
- 47M people acutely food insecure
- Countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda
Millions of people face extreme hunger and are resorting to desperate measures to find clean water and food. The drought follows four consecutive, failed rainy seasons, leaving many people with failed crops, and diseased or dead livestock. Compounded by conflict and impact of COVID-19, people are migrating to other areas and to camps for internally displaced people, simply to survive.
in the region.
rainy seasons, Ethiopia is experiencing
16.5 million people across the country.
In Somalia, alarming projections suggest that up to
1.4 million people could be displaced
within the next six months.
As people become increasingly food insecure, they also must make the impossible choice between food and healthcare, even as nutritional deficiencies make them increasingly vulnerable to disease. This is particularly true for children, for whom the combination of malnutrition and disease can prove fatal.
As families face extreme hunger, many have left their homes in search of food and water, and pasture for animals. Outbreaks of infectious diseases are a major concern, especially when combined with low existing vaccination coverage and health service availability.
WHO is coordinating with partners in the health sector and beyond to ramp up its response in the region to avert the worst effects of extreme hunger and to give people access to the health services they need.
Along with countering the consequences of malnutrition, WHO is helping countries to prepare for outbreaks of diseases like cholera, measles and malaria. This includes improving surveillance systems for communicable diseases to identify and respond to new outbreaks quickly.
Among affected populations, WHO helps ensure that essential health services like those for sexual and reproductive health, treatment for chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV, as well as mental health services as people are at high risk of violence and distress can continue without disruption.
Health emergency in the Sahel
- 34M people expected to be acutely food insecure in 2022
- Countries: Burkina Faso, the Far North of Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, and North-East Nigeria
The Sahel region of Africa is facing unprecedented humanitarian needs as a result of armed conflict, poverty, climate change, food insecurity, and political instability. In 2022, more than 33 million people across Burkina Faso, the Far-North of Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, and North-East Nigeria will need life-saving assistance, an increase of more than 25% over the last five years. This makes the Sahel crisis one of the fastest-growing crises in the world.
In response to the growing crisis, WHO, together with the more than
350 health partners it coordinates across six countries,
is strengthening its presence in the region. WHO supports each country’s health systems to provide lifesaving care.
In the Sahel
7.7 million children under age 5 are expected to suffer from malnutrition
of whom 1.4 million are severely malnourished.
Nearly 7 million
internally displaced people across
the six countries (as of June 2022)
Health indicators in the Sahel are among the worst in the world. The region has some of the highest maternal mortality rates globally at 856 deaths per 100,000 live births due to poor access to maternal and reproductive health care as well as a high prevalence of early marriage.
Armed attacks against civilians and public infrastructure — including health facilities and schools — droughts, land degradation and unpredictable weather are exacerbating the plight of millions of people in the Sahel.
Access to health has become more limited due to COVID-19, increasing violence and damaged health facilities. The region is regularly affected by large epidemics. More than 110,000 cases of Cholera were recorded in 2021 and yellow fever transmission is at 20 years high.
Conflict and insecurity are a major barrier to delivering humanitarian assistance. These challenges hinder the delivery of essential medicines, engage communities in public health programmes such as water and sanitation services, distribution of bed nets and basic childhood vaccinations.
In response to the growing crisis, WHO, together with the more than 350 health partners, coordinates across the six countries, is strengthening its presence in the region. To provide immediate life-saving assistance to those in need, and support national authorities in strengthening their health systems.
WHO will work to improve treatment of malnutrition, strengthen cholera diagnostics, provide essential services, deploy psychologists and train outbreak response teams, while re-establishing services in hospitals, and working closely with Ministries of Health.
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What is an emergency appeal?
What is happening this Giving Season?
This Giving Season, the WHO Foundation has launched two campaigns to amplify the issues facing people in the greater Horn of Africa and the Sahel and to encourage people to donate to the Appeal.
With over 60 million people across these regions struggling to access food and safe water, the Foundation has teamed up with celebrities and book clubs across the globe to raise awareness of the situation in the regions and the generation whose futures are at risk.
Human Kind: Authors of Africa
The ‘Human Kind: Authors of Africa’ campaign seeks to encourage book clubs around the world to host dedicated sessions which highlight books written by authors from regions to help raise funds for those affected and raise awareness about the lost potential of the next generation.
Human Kind: Stories from the region
Celebrities and influencers will also be posting throughout the season, raising awareness of issues being faced in the regions and encouraging their followers to donate to the appeal. Look out for any posts on the WHO Foundation social channels.
UHC Day: How WHO is supporting a healthy future for all in the greater Horn of Africa
Drought Crisis: Health Catastrophe in Sahel and Horn of Africa
La Fondation de l’OMS lance un Appel d’Urgence pour les crises de sécheresse au Sahel et dans la Corne de l’Afrique
Launch of Health Emergency Appeal for drought crises in the Sahel and Horn of Africa
Emergency Response Appeal for the Greater Horn of Africa
Emergency appeal : Humanitarian crisis in Sahel region of Africa