Regionally, the severity and persistence of the drought have led to wide-ranging impacts. In many areas there has been a widespread scarcity of potable water as well as seriously depleted supplies for irrigation and sanitation. Agricultural production has been significantly impacted, and there has been a substantial reduction in livestock populations that are key to subsistence livelihoods. A rise in respiratory and sanitation-related diseases have also been directly linked to the drought. Large population movements due to the combination of drought and civil instability have greatly aggravated all of these problems. Based on reports from national an international agencies and relief organizations, we summaruze the impacts of the drought across sectors. Reasearch issues related to water resources and seasonal climate variability in the region are also highlighted.