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Horn of Africa Crisis

LOOMING HUNGER CRISIS GRIPS HORN OF AFRICA

Continuous failed rains have shrivelled crops, depleted livestock and left millions of people across Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia in urgent need of food. As drought tightens its grip across the region, children’s lives hang in the balance.

URGENT ACTION NEEDED

We’ve been here before. We know what to do. In order to prevent millions going hungry, we need to act and we need to act fast. We need to provide families with the tools and services they need to help build their resilience, as increased droughts and erratic weather patterns push them to their limits. For communities who depend on rains for their food and livelihoods, these failed rains threaten their survival.

A CLIMATE CRISIS

Climate change is undoubtedly having an impact. Families used to experience one year of drought in every ten years.  In the last decade, they have experienced more than three severe droughts in the worst hit areas.

Communities are used to coping with failed rains. But this prolonged drought and successive flooding is unrelenting – and they can’t bounce back without urgent help.

A CHILDREN'S EMERGENCY

Children are always the most vulnerable in a food crisis, and there are already 785k children severely malnourished. In the long term, the effects of drought are even more complex than extreme hunger:

  • without enough to eat, children are at high risk of malnutrition and more vulnerable to diseases like pneumonia, cholera and diarrhoea.
  • children are dropping out of school to work - endangering their rights and futures.
  • families are forced to leave their homes in search of food, water or an income.
  • whilst on the move, children can become separated from their families, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

 

Donate now to our Emergency Fund

Fatima's* Story

Amina and her daughter Fatima* at the Stabilisation Centre, Gardo General Hospital
Fatima's* first day back home after returning from the Stabilisation Centre

Fatima* before and after returning from the Stabilisation Centre

Amina (23) and her daughter Fatima* (9 months), were referred to the stabilisation centre from a small town between Gardo and Garowe, where they moved after being displaced by drought and losing their livestock (which she estimates to be approximately 3 years ago).

Fatima had been very sick with diarrhoea and vomiting, and when we first met her she seemed quite tired and still ill, although Amina told us she had improved a lot since she got there, 7 days ago.

When we visited again two days later she was a lot more lively. The nurse weighed her and told her she was ready to return home. Treatment in the centre usually takes 10 days and this was the case for Fatima*.

During the drought of 2017 they lost most of their livestock, then they lost the remaining livestock in 2018. When they arrived in the village where they live, Amina opened a tea shop to replace her lost livelihood, which she has run until she had to close it to bring Fatima* to the stabilisation centre.

But her income has not replaced that which she had before, and they suffer from a shortage of food as well as unclean water. On a typical day they eat only two meals, injera (Somali pancake) for breakfast and rice for dinner.

Fatima* is not able to get enough nutritional food and their water supply isn’t of a good quality. Amina gets sad when she sees her child sick and she doesn’t have enough money to get the services she needs.

When she arrived at the centre they gave her IV fluid, milk and RUTF, plus other medicines. They also provided Amina with meals while she stayed with her daughter. Without this she says that she might have had to leave the centre, no matter what condition her daughter was in.

What we're doing

Right now we're

  • screening children and mothers for severe malnutrition,
  • fighting to stop the outbreak of killer diseases like cholera and acute watery diarrhoea,
  • giving young children and breastfeeding mothers nutritious food,
  • transporting clean water and training communities to install and repair water systems,
  • constructing latrines to help sanitation and stop the spread of disease.

Right now we're;

  • distributing tarpaulin, blankets and mosquito nets,
  • supporting the farming industry,
  • distributing cash grants to families for food and necessities,
  • helping communities prepare their land and livestock for when the next drought hits.

Right now we're;

  • helping children who have had to leave their homes to continue their education,
  • tracing and reuniting children with their families,
  • running safe spaces where children can learn, play and receive psychosocial support.

Our Emergency Fund

This special reserve of money allows us to coordinate a humanitarian response so that in the event of an emergency - like the Horn of Africa crisis - we're able to act quickly and save countless lives.

Donate to our emergency fund

More ways to get involved