More than 50 million people face food insecurity by the end of 2020

A man carries a full bag of donated maize grain on March 13 2019, in the Mutoko rural area of Zimbabwe. - Eastern Zimbabwe receives help to fight drought induced hunger, as a total of 32.000 villagers affected by drought in the Mutoko area. They received USD cash donations and children porridge donated by the World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with USAID. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE – In this Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 file photo, village women receive aid from the charity organisation, Oxfam International, at a distribution centre in Chirumhanzi about 250 Kilometers South east of Harare. The United Nations says about half of Zimbabwe’s population faces severe hunger amid a devastating drought and economic collapse. The World Food Program notes a “vicious cycle of skyrocketing malnutrition that’s hitting women and children hardest.” More than 7 million people overall are in need. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

An estimated 50.6 million people in Eastern Africa are at risk of being food insecure and may require food assistance by the end of 2020 if urgent action is not taken.

According to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the compounding impacts of COVID-19 global pandemic, desert locust invasion, ongoing climatic shocks (including floods), could lead to a food security crisis in the IGAD region.

The IGAD Food Security and Nutrition Response Strategy which was launched today now calls upon Member States and Partners to provide technical and financial support to IGAD to implement a series of short-term interventions to deal with the unfolding crisis

Some of the interventions IGAD executive secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu proposes to include improving and sustaining nutrition security among all vulnerable groups of people during food crises and Promoting and facilitating regional trade and cross-border access to markets.

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