The number of refugees fleeing danger in East Africa and the Horn regions is likely to rise by December this year, stretching the three million mark.
According to an October – December report titled ‘The Humanitarian Outlook for the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region’ compiled by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), despite conflict incidents decreasing in hotspots in the region, the intermittent clashes in Burundi, Yemen and South Sudan are expected to displace about 194.000 more people, bringing the total number of refugees in the region to over 3.37 million by year end.
UNOCHA also says countries in the region, most especially Ethiopia, are likely to face food insecurity arising from the El Nino phenomenon.
‘By the beginning of 2016 the number of people who are food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance is expected to increase to 32.1 million. Up to 2 million people could be affected by flooding,’ UNOCHA says in its quarterly report.
According to UNOCHA, rising food prices in Ethiopia and South Sudan, declining tax and donor revenue in Burundi and falling remittances in Somalia will also affect the most vulnerable people in the respective countries.
The UN humanitarian agency also notes that its operations to counter the scourges in the most affected areas have been ‘increasingly constrained by restricted humanitarian access and funding shortfalls’.