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22 Dec 2017 description
report British Red Cross

In 2017 the world faced a series of devastating humanitarian emergencies, not least here in the UK - making it one of the most demanding years for the British Red Cross since WWII. Here’s a look back at 2017 in numbers

  • 9m – people in the UK reported as always or often lonely

  • 200 – tonnes of donated clothes, blankets, toiletries and essential items by members of the public following the Grenfell Tower Fire

  • 24.1m – people facing food shortages in East Africa (across Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan)

21 Oct 2013 description
report British Red Cross

An influx of Sudanese refugees into Ethiopia in 2011 prompted an emergency appeal as the government and aid agencies struggled to cope with the sudden mass population movement. Having fled fighting in Sudan, the refugees were faced with a shortage of shelter, food, sleeping mats, drinking water and sanitation facilities.

The exodus was triggered after multiple clashes between the Sudanese army and South Sudan militia and rebels in Sudan’s Blue Nile state, which resulted in an estimated 50,000 civilians fleeing their homes.

13 Jul 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews

One year on, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has supported millions of people across the horn of Africa.

Click here to view the slideshow.

04 Jul 2012 description
report British Red Cross

The Kenya Red Cross has helped cut the number of people suffering from severe malnutrition in part of the world’s largest refugee camp by 75 per cent over the last nine months.

It began providing essential healthcare and nutrition services at the Ifo II section of Dadaab refugee camp complex in October last year. Nearly two out of every ten children under five there then were severely malnourished; now, it’s fewer than one in 20.

23 Jan 2012 description
report British Red Cross

The Red Cross is carrying out assessments in the Sahel region of west Africa where millions of people are at risk of a food crisis this year.

Low and erratic rainfall and insect infestations have led to poor harvests and lack of pasture in parts of Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Communities are also dealing with high food prices and reduced cash flow from migrant workers sending money back to their families from Libya and the Ivory Coast.

Unless urgent measures are taken now, the Sahel region could experience a major food crisis.

19 Jan 2012 description
report British Red Cross

Oxfam and Save the Children yesterday published a report – titled A Dangerous Delay – on the food crisis in east Africa. It says that thousands of needless deaths occurred and millions of extra pounds were spent because the international community failed to take decisive action on early warnings of a hunger crisis in east Africa.

The importance of preparing for disasters

The humanitarian aid that was provided saved many lives, but we agree that taking action earlier would have saved even more.

17 Jan 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews

In East Africa, continued difficulties accessing food – coupled with recent flooding and conflict in the region – have made life hard for many people. While working with communities in East Africa to improve their long-term resilience to food insecurity, the Red Cross is also providing immediate relief to thousands of vulnerable people in refugee camps.

Difficult conditions

21 Dec 2011 description
report British Red Cross

By Sarah Oughton

A report on the east Africa food crisis, recently published by the Red Cross, looks at the roots of the issue and proposes ways to avert future drought crises.

It says: “The answer lies not in emergency aid but in support for food security.”

04 Oct 2011 description
report British Red Cross

Every night 925 million people go to bed hungry. And sometimes it gets so bad the media throws a spotlight on the crisis, such as the current situation in east Africa.

Seeing as aid agencies have been sounding the alarm about east Africa since last November, it begs the question: why wasn’t more done to avert the current crisis?

At Dispatches from Disaster Zones, an event hosted by the Red Cross at the Commonwealth Club on 30 September, this was the hot topic of debate between aid agencies and journalists.

20 Jul 2011 description
report British Red Cross

1) What is famine?

The UN declared on 20 July that parts of south central Somalia are suffering from famine. When the UN makes this declaration, it means there are very extreme problems that are defined as:

05 Jul 2011 description
report British Red Cross

With more than ten million people in the Horn of Africa facing severe drought, the British Red Cross has launched the East Africa Food Crisis Appeal.

Very poor rainfall in the Horn of Africa (including Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda) has led to the driest period in 60 years for some areas, leading to crop failures and deaths of livestock.

High and increasing staple food prices (30-80 per cent higher than the five-year average in parts of Kenya) and regional conflict are combining with the weather to make a bad situation even worse.

Lack of food

06 Nov 2009 description
report British Red Cross

East Africa has always been a drought-prone region, but 25 years on from the famine in Ethiopia, which made the world sit up and take notice, the situation is again deteriorating.

This year, countries severely affected by drought and increased food prices include Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. More than 23 million people are facing a major food crisis with significant threat to lives and livelihoods.

One reason the situation hasn't improved is because climate change means weather-related disasters are happening with increasing frequency and intensity.

09 Jan 2009 description
report British Red Cross

Millions of people in Kenya and the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, are facing an exceptional humanitarian crisis that requires urgent food assistance.

The combined effect of high worldwide food prices and a crippling drought is seriously jeopardising the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of up to 20 million people in both rural and urban communities.

The affected populations are those who already live on the margins of survival due to conflict, displacement and chronic poverty.

04 Dec 2008 description
report British Red Cross

This year has seen hundreds of weather-related catastrophes, including the cyclone in Myanmar, floods in India, hurricanes in the Caribbean and drought in Ethiopia.

As climate change means a dramatic rise in the numbers of people being affected by natural disasters, humanitarian organisations need to get serious about responding to our rapidly warming world.

According to the UN, in the last two decades the number of recorded disasters across the world has doubled to over 400 per year, with nine out of ten now weather-related.

19 Sep 2008 description
report British Red Cross

Farming equipment, seedlings and ten thousand sheep all have a part to play in breaking the cycle of hunger as the Red Cross responds to Ethiopia's current food crisis.

The Red Cross is delivering immediate emergency food aid to tens of thousands of people suffering acute malnutrition; but staving off hunger through direct food distributions is just one part of a larger overall response.

In Damot Pulasa and Damot Gale, areas in Southern Ethiopia where Red Cross distributions are underway, flooding followed by failed harvests have left many unable to grow enough to feed themselves …

12 Sep 2008 description
report British Red Cross

With thousands of children in Ethiopia facing acute malnutrition, the British Red Cross has launched an appeal to provide emergency aid.

The urgent needs are a combined result of drought and escalating food prices.

Vulnerable households have been forced to sell their livestock and agricultural tools at throw-away prices in order to buy food.

12 Sep 2008 description
report British Red Cross

The Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal to enable it to continue vital emergency food and relief assistance in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Government estimates that 4.7 million people could be affected by the current crisis. Failed harvests have pushed many to sell their livestock and agricultural tools at throw-away prices in order to buy food, but with food prices rocketing by 330 per cent, many people are in desperate need of help.

The Red Cross have concentrated their efforts on two of the worst affected regions in southern Ethiopia, Damot Pulasa and Damot Gale in Wolayita Zone.

11 Jun 2008 description
report British Red Cross

As poor rains lead to severe food shortages in Ethiopia, the British Red Cross has responded by supporting food distribution in the country.

The organisation is concerned about increasing levels of malnutrition and the growing vulnerability of people affected by the ongoing food crisis. Responding to the crisis, the Ethiopian Red Cross is already providing food and relief assistance in order to meet critical needs.

Pete Garratt, British Red Cross relief operations manager, said: 'By acting so quickly, we are seeking to avert what could become a major humanitarian crisis.

10 Apr 2008 description
report British Red Cross

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched a new five-year strategy to scale up food security programmes in 15 African countries.

The new plan, announced today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will invest in long-term food security projects to fight some of the root causes of hunger and malnutrition, assisting some 2.25 million people, or nearly half a million families.

The strategy will improve the capacities of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies …

20 Sep 2007 description
report British Red Cross

The British Red Cross is sending relief experts to countries across East and West Africa as it launches its Africa Flood appeal to raise funds to help some of the most vulnerable people caught up in the severe flooding in the region.

More than one million people are affected across countries including Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso. The unusually heavy rains have displaced cattle and destroyed crops leaving whole communities vulnerable and extremely short of food.