Drought and conflict left 23 million people in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment in East Africa by March 2017, when the DEC launched its appeal. While international assistance has been preventing the situation from deteriorating, widespread food insecurity continues to loom across South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, affecting the lives of millions.
Some 20.3 million people were severely food insecure in the across the region as of end December 2017 and the number in Somalia has reached nearly double the five-year average.
In Ethiopia 8.5 million people were food insecure in 2017, with the emergency expected to continure into mid-2018.
High risk remains of diseases such as cholera and measles spreading fast, as more people flee conflict in parts of the region and are forced to live in poor and overcrowded conditions. In South Sudan, 1.9 million people have been displaced, with women and children left most vulnerable.
In Kenya 2.6 million people were estimated to facing severe food insecurity at the end of 2017.
A sustained relief effort is needed throughout 2018 to protect livelihoods and prevent loss of life. DEC member charities continue to respond to the crisis but they need more money to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.