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Oxfam Horn of Africa: 2017 Drought Response

Monday February 19, 2018

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The Horn and East Africa region has been affected by yet another drought with hardly any reprieve from the 2016 El Nino induced crisis. By end of March 2017 the UN estimated that 22.9 million people in the greater Horn were food insecure, a figure expected to rise as the crisis worsens. The number of people affected in the three countries is 8.5 million people in Ethiopia, 3.2 million in Somalia and 3.4 million in Kenya.

Oxfam declared the Horn of Africa Drought as a major crisis in January 2017. Based on the prioritisation, the response actions commenced and scale up of the intervention started. Oxfam is responding in all three countries - Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, targeting people in need. The target is to provide WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and EFSVL (Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihood) assistance to over 1.5 million people across the region. Oxfam is responding in line with its distinct global competencies of WASH and EFSVL as well with protection interventions alongside safe programming and gender mainstreaming within the technical programmes. The overall funding target for the Horn of Africa response programme is USD 53.1 million.

In March 2017, with the drought situation further deteriorating and the crisis reaching a critical stage, Oxfam declared the Horn of Africa Response as a top humanitarian priority that needed its global attention and capacity to support. While all three countries have initiated a response programme in key locations, the speed, scale of the programme and operational modalities of the three programmes vary significantly.

Ethiopia had an initial target of 700,000 beneficiaries, but revised its Response Strategy in May 2017 in reaction to the escalating needs on the ground. The revised target population has increased from 700,000 to one million people. Somalia has a beneficiary target of 200,000, with a revised strategy looking at scaling up in Puntland and including resilience and transitional programming in Somaliland and Puntland; Kenya has a target beneficiary population of 600,000. Budgets for the programme also vary with Ethiopia’s initial budget at 17.5 million USD, recently increased to $37 million USD; Kenya’s at 5.1 million USD and Somalia with 10 million USD. In addition, the regional response structure plays the role of providing support to the countries in terms of strategic management, systems compliance and technical assistance.

This document provides an overview of the Oxfam Drought response work in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. It provides the strategic fitness of Oxfam Humanitarian programming in an increasing complex regional and country context as well as achievements and lessons learnt.

Undoubtedly, Oxfam’s work is a combined effort with diverse local and international partners and actors but most importantly the communities which continue to emerge stronger than before from vulnerability.


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