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Technical Guidance

Drought is a recurrent and natural event in many areas. Humanitarian organisations can be more effective when they take this into account in their programming.

In many areas of the world, severe drought is a recurrent phenomenon. It is possible that in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, droughts are becoming more frequent and intense. There has been drought somewhere in the Horn of Africa in eight of the past ten years, affecting 67 million people (ECB/ACAPS, 2011). These droughts often occur in contexts where conflict, high food prices, and restrictions on traditional livelihood strategies have already impoverished large sections of the population. Where this is the case, drought can trigger – or greatly intensify – large-scale human disasters.

This ALNAP Lessons Paper identifies seventeen key lessons for humanitarian agencies responding to droughts, on topics such as: early warning, targeting, working with government, food aid, water interventions and nutrition.