According to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), approximately 2.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation, almost a million more than in May, fuelled by drought. The food security situation is continuing to deteriorate, NDMA added.
One of the main problems is a failing agriculture sector and Kenya’s reliance on foreign markets on food imports. Besides Kenya, the Horn of Africa region is facing droughts in recent years, causing widespread concern for humanitarian emergency.
Africa accounts for 31 per cent of a total of 821 million people suffering from hunger globally, with 20 per cent of its population now estimated to be malnourished. The continent’s US$35bn a year food import bill is expected to hit US$110bn by 2025, while average government spending on agriculture has fallen from 3.66 per cent in 2001 to 2.3 per cent in 2017.
According to the 2018 Global Hunger Index (GHI), six countries suffer from an alarming level of hunger, while one country, the Central African Republic suffers from a level that is extremely alarming. The six countries with alarming levels of hunger are Chad, Haiti, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Yemen and Zambia.