Famine Threat in Horn of Africa “consequences of years of inaction”: Irish Charities

Credit: Trócaire

Irish development and humanitarian organizations, including the overseas development agency of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, Trócaire, are sounding the alarm about famine threat in the Horn of Africa, which they attribute to “years of inaction”.

In a Tuesday, June 14 report, representatives from Trócaire, Concern Worldwide, GOAL, and Oxfam Ireland explain to Irish politicians the situation in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, urging “greater political action on severe hunger” in these African nations.

Explaining the reality in the horn of Africa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dóchas, a body representing the Irish development and humanitarian organizations, says, “The threat of famine in the 21st century is, above all, a political failure. We are now facing the consequences of years of inaction.”

Jane-Ann McKenna explains, “The failure to address the deadly combination of climate change, conflict and the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has left the region in extreme crisis.”

In the report, Ms. McKenna says that the situation Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia representing the Horn of Africa has been worsened by the conflict in Ukraine, which disrupted the global economy and food systems.


Representatives of the four development and humanitarian entities in Ireland “urge the Irish government to demonstrate and hold firm leadership at an international level to ensure an immediate and radical mobilization of aid in the region.”

In the June 14 report, Trócaire officials say that the United Nations estimate that humanitarian funding of US$4.4bn is required to provide life-saving assistance and protection in the Horn of Africa region.

“Ten years ago, despite Irish NGOs sounding the alarm on famine in the Horn of Africa, a delayed international response led to the deaths of over 250,000 people, a large majority of which would have been preventable given the proper funding,” the officials of the Irish Catholic entity say.

They add, “This time around, governments and the international community have failed yet again to heed the calls for action.”

In the report, representatives from the four Irish entities underscore the need for quick intervention.

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They say, “Clear, repeated, and credible early warnings have been ignored for more than two years and the number of people facing crisis levels of hunger in the region has more than doubled to 23 million people since last year.”

"We can end this hunger crisis if we act now, and if we act collectively. Ireland, with its own experience and legacy of famine, is uniquely positioned to lead by example and mobilise the international community to respond at speed and scale,” the representatives of the four Irish charities are quoted as telling politicians in Ireland in the June 14 report.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.