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Drought in the Horn of Africa: Preventing the next disaster
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The Horn of Africa’s most serious drought in decades has brought severe, and all too familiar, humanitarian consequences. Much of the suffering could have been avoided and in a region plagued by recurrent drought, the greatest chal- lenge today is preventing the next disaster. This report looks at the roots of the catastrophe – why a natural occurrence has devastated the lives of millions – and proposes ways to avert future crises when drought returns to the Horn, as it will with regularity. The answer, it says, lies not in emergency aid but in support for food security. Relief alone only deepens the danger. Red Cross and Red Crescent societies have been responding to drought for decades, and their networks of volunteers and immediate action have saved the lives of thousands of people. But, the IFRC argues, the way we invest must change: we must build community resilience and empower the people of arid lands to rise above the natural hazards that so frequently confront them. It is time for governments, donors and humanitarians to take an integrated, longer term approach and address the chronic underlying issues. Examples from Kenya show how this approach can work. They have turned around the lives of pastoralists who cannot sustain old livelihoods, introduced sustainable farming, and removed a dependence on food aid. Although mod- est compared to the present scale of disaster, they show the way ahead and this work must expand with urgency if the harrowing images the world sees today are not to be repeated.

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Climatology Meteorology Atmosphere
processes and phenomena of the atmosphere. Examples: cloud cover, weather, climate, atmospheric conditions, climate change, precipitation
East Africa
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For use in the ThinkHazard! (THOR) project

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