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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 - 11:48am

The quadruple Olympic champion has issued an urgent plea for help in support of Save the Children's East Africa Food Crisis Appeal

The long-distance athlete, who recently secured his legacy as Britain’s greatest distance runner of all time at the Rio 2016 Olympics, is named today as an Ambassador for Save the Children and his first appeal is to raise awareness of the looming famine in East Africa. 

Mo, who spent the early years of his life in Somalia and has family living in some of the worst affected areas, has become deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating crisis. Speaking today in a video appeal for Save the Children, he said that he is devastated by the news that around one million Somali children are predicted to become malnourished this year, with almost 200,000 at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition. 

The four-time Olympic Gold medal winner said: “I’m completely devastated - this shouldn’t be happening in 2017. The drought is really bad and there are millions of children at risk of starvation. I was born in Somalia and it breaks my heart to hear stories of how families are suffering. We have to act now; millions of lives are at stake – and young children are especially vulnerable.”

The drought is one of the worst in living memory and could be even more catastrophic than a 2011 famine which claimed thousands of lives. Livestock are dying, crops are failing and thousands of children are severely malnourished. With poor rains expected this month, the situation is only set to get worse.

Mo continued: “As a father of four, it hurts to see children without food and water, but this is a reality being faced by parents in East Africa right now. I’m urging the generous British public to dig deep and donate whatever they can to Save the Children so they can reach the people who need vital aid. We can make a difference if we come together as a country, as a nation and as a team – we can change lives.”

As many as 20 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid in East Africa. Famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan and the crisis is worsening in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. As with any humanitarian emergency, children are the ones who suffer the most.

The Mo Farah Foundation has donated £100,000 to Save the Children to provide lifesaving healthcare and nutrition to children affected by the devastating impact of the drought in Somaliland.

Please join Mo and donate now so that Save the Children can provide food, water, medicine and other life-saving essentials to children in the worst-affected areas.

Text EAST to donate £5 to Save the Children’s East Africa Food Crisis Appeal* or donate online at: savethechildren.org.uk/eastafricaaid


For more information contact Steph Aldrich on s.aldrich@savethechildren.org.uk or call +44 (0)203 763 0987

Notes to editor


Video content of Mo Farah can be downloaded here: https://storycentral.savethechildren.org.uk/?c=45468&k=cd98d16ad6

B-roll and photos from Puntland, one of the areas hardest hit by the drought, that can be downloaded from this link: http://storycentral.savethechildren.org.uk/?c=44464&k=a4c1e506e3


*T&C’s: You’ll be billed £5 plus standard rate text message. We receive 100% of your donation. By texting EAST you agree to future phone calls and SMS about our work and how you can support us. Include NO PHONE to opt out of calls and SMS. Queries? 02070126400.