It was not unexpected. USAID has been working in the eastern Horn of Africa for years, so climate scientists, USAID teams, and partners saw the cyclical droughts happening more and more often. From every 20 years, to every 10 years, and now more frequently. Soaring global food prices, combined with drought in 2007 and 2008, hit the region hard. In response, USAID worked with government, U.N. and NGO partners to increase the resiliency of drought-prone communities.
These efforts have helped many escape the worst effects of the current drought. But for some, the scorched landscape returned too soon, before they had a chance to recover. In August 2010, USAID’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)