The Horn of Africa Conference 2023: High-level pledging event for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia

By Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

The Horn of Africa Conference 2023: High-level pledging event for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia

📅 24 May 2023
New York, USA

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the Governments of Italy, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in collaboration with the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, will convene a High-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in the Horn of Africa.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing its most severe and protracted drought in decades. Across the Horn of Africa, at least 31.9 million people require lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance, including 17.2 million in Ethiopia, 8.25 million in Somalia, and 6.4 million in Kenya. The recent heavy rainfall may improve the situation in several areas noting much of the rainfall occurred in the space of one week, with extremely heavy downpours that resulted in flash floods and loss of homes and livestock in areas already impacted by the drought.

Hunger and food insecurity are of particular concern. Over 23.4 million people are enduring high levels of acute food insecurity in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. About 13.2 million livestock have died since the beginning of the drought (6.8 million in Ethiopia, over 3.8 million in Somalia, and 2.6 million in Kenya), eroding the primary source of livelihood, income, and nutrition for pastoralist communities. Water insecurity is leading to a rise in diseases and protection risks, further compounding the situation.

Cholera and measles outbreaks are ongoing in all three countries; with higher reported cholera cases compared to recent years, while measle cases have also spiked, particularly among children. The recurring climatic shocks, widespread food insecurity, and reduced livelihood access are exacerbated by persistent conflict and resultant displacement, contributing to sustained humanitarian needs and ongoing complex emergencies.

To save lives among affected communities, funding of humanitarian response plans for the Horn of Africa, totaling about US$7 billion in 2023, must be frontloaded and allocated at scale. There is a critical need to invest in livelihoods, resilience, infrastructure development, climate adaptation, and durable solutions to ensure those affected can recover from the ongoing crisis, adapt, and thrive in the future.


  • Secure scaled-up resources to address the unprecedented humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa in 2023 and beyond.
  • Highlight the capacity and commitment of humanitarian partners to implement lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance across the three countries.
  • Discuss the underlying factors affecting the Horn of Africa and explore opportunities and practical, long-term solutions, including how to promote and resource climate adaptation.