Horn of Africa update: Worst crisis of the decade
Friday, August 12, 2011
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa is worsening. According to the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 12.4 million people are in need of live-saving assistance, and the crisis is expected to reach unprecedented levels by December 2011. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is expanding its response providing emergency supplies of food and water, and humanitarian assistance to the malnourished and food deprived victims.
"This is the worst humanitarian crisis of the decade," expressed Emanuel da Costa, Director of Emergency Management for ADRA International. "The cause of this crisis is the result of natural and manmade challenges," da Costa added, referring to the inadequate supply of rainwater, rise of food prices, and ongoing conflict the region has experienced.
In Somalia, five areas are now famine-declared. The ADRA network is ramping up efforts to assist the country's affected population. To date, the number of affected people in the region has reached 3.7 million. According to reports from ADRA Somalia, 80 percent of the affected population is in need of immediate lifesaving assistance. Of the 3.7 million, more than 500,000 are malnourished children. This number is expected to rise to an alarming 780,000 over the next 12 months.
ADRA is implementing a six-month long emergency intervention in the Puntland and central Somali regions. Over the course of the intervention, the local ADRA office will dispatch 140 truckloads of water to at-risk communities, rehabilitate four water basins and boreholes, and distribute emergency non-food items (NFIs) including wash basins, soap, jerry cans, sleeping mats and mosquito nets to 400 vulnerable families. In total, an estimated 19,000 individuals will benefit from ADRA's intervention. Additionally, ADRA is scaling-up their USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) funded emergency water and livelihood intervention in three northern regions of the country. The intervention is rehabilitating water points such as berkads, boreholes, water catchments, dams and shallow wells, conducting sanitation and hygiene promotion, implementing environmental clean-up campaigns, garbage pit digging, constructing bathing facilities, conducting agricultural training, and offering income generating activities to more than 93,000 people, including 20,637 internally displaced persons (IDP's).
In Kenya, the northern, eastern and Rift Valley regions are experiencing the highest acute malnutrition rates the country has seen since 2003, leaving 4 million people in need of food aid nationwide. According to the latest update from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approximately 1,500 drought and conflict-affected Somalis are arriving to Kenya's Dadaab complex each day. Located in the northeastern region, Dadaab is the largest refugee settlement in the world, hosting more than 397,000 refugees. Since June 6, more than 77,000 of Dadaab's refugees have arrived from Somalia, and according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 40 percent of arrivals are severely malnourished children.
Part of ADRA's ongoing response in Kenya is targeting most vulnerable households in Kasaala with a two-month supply of food packages. The packages are stocked with cereal, pulses, vegetable oil, and iodized salt, with a special provision of nutritional corn soy blend for children under five-years of age.
To combat the scarcity of water in this region, ADRA Kenya is installing three 10,000-liter water tanks in two schools and a local health center, and will supply an additional five water tanks in efforts to provide an adequate supply of water for the community. To ensure water is safe to drink, ADRA will be distributing more than 1 million PUR and Aquatab water purification tablets/sachets, donated by Global Medic, to affected communities in Kasaala and the North Eastern region of Kenya.
Updates will be posted as additional information is received from ongoing assessments in the region.
To send your contribution to help ADRA's work in the Horn of Africa, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org
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ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.
For more information about ADRA, visit www.adra.org
Author: Christina Zaiback, ADRA International
For more information, contact:
John Torres, Assistant Director of Public Relations
To donate to ADRA go to:
Phone: 1.800.424.ADRA (2372)