Don’t wait. Please act now!
From The Hunger Site
They’re calling it “The Children’s Famine.” More than 12 million people are at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa, including at least 1.25 million children who are “in urgent need of life saving interventions,” according to OCHA. Hundreds of thousands of additional children are severely malnourished.
This humanitarian crisis is caused by an unprecedented drought in the region, where families traditionally rely on livestock and farming for food. Food prices have spiked, crops and livestock are failing, and rivers are at their lowest levels in recent memory.
Displaced families desperate for food and water are spilling across borders and overwhelming refugee camps. “In many of the poorest communities,” reports UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, “people are either too poor or too weak to be able to try to walk for help.”
Mercy Corps has worked in the region for years, and is on the ground actively providing help in the places where it is most needed. Tens of thousands in Ethiopia have received emergency food and clean water distributions. In Somalia, cash-for-work programs are helping drought-affected families fill vital needs including food, water, and other essentials. Mercy Corps hopes not only to help people survive in the face of the current crisis, but to make these communities strong enough to thrive once it has passed.
You can help. Every penny of your donation provides emergency aid that is desperately needed in the Horn of Africa during this time of crisis.
Report from the Field
Mercy Corps is actively engaged in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. They report that their drought response in the region includes:
· Our work in Somalia will help more than 260,000 drought-affected people fill vital needs like water, food, and other essentials.
· We work directly with communities to ensure that aid gets to the people who need it. We run programs in Puntland, Somaliland, and the Central region.
· Emergency operations build on our work to provide education to Somali children, improve governance, and build more peaceful communities.
· Our team in northeastern Kenya has started programs in over twenty villages in bone-dry Wajir County.
· We are helping 120,000 people gain life-saving access to water. Where there is no water, we’re trucking in hundreds of thousands of liters. Where there are water systems, we’re bringing in emergency fuel to keep water pumps running.
· We have found there is food on the market in northeastern Kenya, but people don’t have money to buy it. Vouchers, a likely next phase of work, provide food and boost local markets.
· We plan to mount an emergency response in the Oromia and Somali regions of Ethiopia, where there is an urgent need for food and water, especially for women, children, and the elderly.
· We also plan to provide cash for work, and initiate destocking, where Mercy Corps buys cattle to provide herders with much-needed income and the community with meat.
· We’ve been helping more than 625,000 Ethiopians gain access to food, water, income, nutrition and health education, and better farming resources and information.
Report from the Field
Joy Portella, Mercy Corps Communications Director
The central element of this story is water; everyone is obsessed with finding it. I saw this in the eyes of the herder who’d been walking with his family — including his 10-year-old daughter — for 17 days to find water. I met a young woman with a baby who’d trudged eight hours to collect dirty water at a borehole, and was steeling herself for the grueling return trip. I witnessed a man climb a tree and ever so gently hold down a lone green branch so that his parched, starving camel could gain some strength.
…too often [our] great generosity is triggered by a sudden event that garners significant news coverage: the Haiti earthquake or Japan tsunami. When disasters happen slowly — like a drought and famine — they’re less visible and get less of a response, but that doesn’t make them any less severe.
…the people who are living the drought are simply busy struggling to survive. In the Horn of Africa, that struggle has become increasingly severe. The call for aid has rarely been as urgent.
Don’t wait. Act now! The Hunger Site