The purpose of this public health risk assessment is to provide health professionals in United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, international and local organizations, donor agencies and local authorities, who are currently working with populations affected by the emergency in the Horn of Africa,with up-to-date technical guidance on the major public health threats faced by the populations affected by the drought and famine conditions in the sub-region.

The topic areas addressed have been selected on the basis of the burden of morbidity and mortality, as well as the potential for their increased risk in the affected area. Public health threats represent a significant challenge to those providing health-care services in this evolving situation. It is hoped that this risk assessment will facilitate the coordination of activities between all agencies working among the populations currently affected by the crisis