NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
More than 5.5 million people were displaced
across the Horn of Africa by the end of December 2017, including
around 4.1 million internally displaced and 1.4 million living
in the region as refugees and asylum seekers, the UN said in a
report released on Tuesday.
The UN Office for
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its
humanitarian outlook that the Horn of Africa remains a major
migration transit route including to and from the Arabian
Peninsula and to Europe.
“The Horn of Africa
is both the host and the source of significant population
displacement and mixed migration movements, and this is expected
to continue in the first six months of 2018,” said OCHA.
“The combination of
drought, conflict and insecurity have worsened protection
concerns, with violations against civilians, including sexual
and gender-based violence as well as against children, expected
to continue in the months ahead,” it said.
According to the
report, in addition to climatic shocks—and in some instances
compounded or driven by them—conflict, insecurity and political
instability remain important drivers of humanitarian need in the
The report said food
insecurity escalated by 36 percent in 2017, leaving 14.6 million
people severely food insecure by the end of the year.
The report said
humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa remain high, driven by
climatic shocks, conflict, insecurity and political instability.
The region is
expected to remain the epicenter of food insecurity and
malnutrition in the first six months of 2018, said the UN.
“Across the Horn of
Africa, nearly 5.2 million children and women were estimated to
be acutely malnourished by the end of 2017 and 639,718 severely
malnourished children were admitted for treatment during the
year,” it said.
In Somalia, the
report said, 1.2 million children and pregnant and lactating
women (PLW) are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition from
September 2017 to September, including 230,000 children who are
projected to be severely acutely malnourished (SAM) during this
“In Ethiopia, 3.6
million children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) were
acutely malnourished in 2017,” said the UN.
In Kenya, the report
said, 370,000 children required treatment for acute malnutrition
in the drought-affected Arid and Semi-Arid Land areas as of the
end of 2017.