Warnings and pleas for help are becoming increasingly dire across East Africa as the worst drought in 40 years, is on the verge of (officially) causing a famine that could kill 500,000 children. Climate change, caused mainly by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels is making droughts more frequent and more severe; Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are responsible for a negligible amount of global climate pollution. “I have three grand-children who have been affected by hunger,” Agnes Ekereru told Reuters at a hospital in northwest Kenya. “All my livestock have died because of the drought.”

The drought, worsened by food shortages, has already killed thousands of people, including at least 900 children under five years old, and countless livestock. Adego Abdinur, 28, walked more than 180 miles with her six children from their home, where her self-sufficient family raised maize and owned dozens of livestock, to a displacement camp in southern Somalia where she hoped to find food to survive. “When we lost the last goat, we realized there was no way to survive,” she told the AP. “We have seen so many children dying because of hunger.” (Reuters, AP, AP explainer; Climate Signals background: Drought increase)