Publication Date August 4, 2017

Ireland responding to the crises in East Africa

A new IDP camp at Dollow, Somalia, that is composed of new internally displaced people from Bay and Bakool. Photo: Amunga Eshuchi, Trocaire

Severe humanitarian crises are affecting a number of countries across East Africa – in large parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya millions of people are living in dire circumstances. These crises are driven by drought and conflict, often resulting in large-scale displacement of people from their homes.


The situation is grim, and the suffering immense. Some of the worst affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are yet to recover from the 2015-16 El Niño drought. Violent conflict continues in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, causing massive suffering in a region already weakened by the effects of severe and recurring drought. Record numbers are facing extreme hunger, many of whom are children. The UN estimates that almost 30 million people are in need across the region.


The longstanding humanitarian crisis in Sudan continues to drive displacement and food insecurity. Although the crisis is linked to years of conflict, El Niño-related drought and low rainfalls have contributed to a worsening of the situation. Some 4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, with many facing severe hunger. Sudan hosts over half a million refugees, mostly from South Sudan, placing pressure on local populations especially in the Darfur regions. Some 600,000 Sudanese have also fled to neighbouring countries due to armed conflict and violence. To date in 2017, Ireland has provided over €3.6 million in humanitarian funding to the crisis in Sudan. Assistance has been provided through our UN partners and two NGO partners, Trócaire and World Vision. Our funding to Trócaire is intended to help strengthen a network of outreach clinics for the treatment of malnutrition among women and children. Our partner World Vision is focused on building the resilience of women and children through education and protection programmes.