Drought, Flood and the Hunger Crisis in Africa

Marian and her eight-month-old daughter queuing at the Trócaire health outreach centre at an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Gedo district, southern Somalia. Trócaire is one of Caritas Australia’s partners. Photo: Miriam Donohue: Trócaire.

One of the longest and most severe humanitarian crises around the world is happening in Africa, with millions of people facing extreme hunger, many of them are children. Drought and flooding have forced millions of vulnerable people to flee their homes in search of food, water and safety  

Hunger, malnutrition and disease are widespread with many children also being born with health issues.  

Environmental issues linked to climate change, including one of the worst and longest droughts in history, have killed livestock, destroyed crops, decimated the livelihoods of millions and caused food prices to soar.  

Over 18 million people

are facing severe hunger across the Horn of Africa

5 consecutive rainy seasons

have failed due to ongoing drought

Food insecurity

is being compounded by flooding and conflict across the region

Millions of children

under 5 years old are acutely malnourished in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia 

There are many countries impacted by these issues. Here are some examples of what communities in the region are facing, and what we’re doing to help. 


Over 65% of Eritreans live below the poverty line, making it one of the least developed countries in the world. Located in one of the driest parts of the Horn of Africa, many communities face food insecurity and high malnutrition rates. Eritrea is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with ongoing drought and low water levels impacting crops and livestock.  

We are working with our partners in Eritrea to improve the resilience of vulnerable communities against protracted droughts, through support for food and nutrition services, ecologically sustainable livelihoods, water, hygiene and health services, and peacebuilding. 


In Kenya, ongoing rains and severe flooding, linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon, have caused loss of life and widespread damage, exacerbating the issues faced in the region. Over 540,000 people were forced from their homes in late 2023 due to flooding, and are now living in temporary camps across the country.  

We are working with our partners including Caritas Kenya to support the provision of food and essential items to vulnerable communities displaced by flooding.  


Somalia had been pushed to the brink of famine due to ongoing drought, when devastating flooding hit in 2023, driving almost 500,000 people from their homes. Now, food insecurity has left 4.3 million people facing hunger.  

We are working with our partners including Caritas Somalia on the provision of quality nutrition support to contribute towards the reduction of mortality rates from malnutrition related complication. 

What can you do to help? 

Vulnerable families in Africa need urgent help to find safe shelter, access to clean water, and food. Donating to our Africa Hunger Crisis appeal will help us to support our partners with their life-saving work across the region.  

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