Malawi and Ethiopia most vulnerable to current El Nino weather pattern

Post was last updated: December 23, 2015

Malawi and Ethiopia are two countries in Africa listed as most vulnerable to results of the El Nino weather pattern currently happening, a World Economic Forum report says.

El Nino – a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific – affects wind patterns and can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world, leading to reduced harvests.

The phenomenon was expected to peak between October and January and could turn into one of the strongest El Ninos on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Low rainfall linked to El Nino is expected to lead to drought in parts of Africa, particularly in East Africa and in the Horn of Africa, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

The report singles out Malawi as vulnerable saying already 2.8 million people are struggling to feed themselves.

“So far this year, one million people affected by floods have received food assistance from the WFP,” says the report.

Ethiopia is one of the worst hit countries and is experiencing its worst drought in decades. El Nino related drought has decimated food crops and led to poor harvests, according to the report.

Some 8.2 million Ethiopians – out of a population of nearly 100 million – need food aid. Most of those affected by drought live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods and food says the report.

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