Appeals & Response Plans
- Tropical Cyclone Mekunu - May 2018
- Tropical Cyclone Sagar - May 2018
- Somalia: Flash Floods - Apr 2018
- Somalia: Measles Outbreak - Dec 2016
- Somalia: Floods - May 2016
- Somalia: Cholera Outbreak - Apr 2016
- Tropical Cyclone Megh - Nov 2015
- Tropical Cyclone Chapala - Nov 2015
- Somalia: Floods - Oct 2015
- Somalia: Drought - 2015-2018
Maps & Infographics
London, 9 July 2012 – One year ago, parts of East Africa recorded the worst rainfall for 60 years leaving more than 13 million people in the grip of a devastating drought.
Thanks to the dedication of its health workers and generous donations from supporters global health charity Merlin raised nearly three quarters of a million pounds, distributed 7,500 tons of food to Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia and saved the lives of thousands of people.
In Kenya, Merlin is working in the arid Turkana region, where the pastoralist population rely on seasonal rains for their survival.
Merlin is marking its success in Kenya and Somalia and its commitment to developing health services there by creating new posts to give a greater focus to each country.
The international medical charity has been in Kenya since 1998 and in Somalia since 2004.
Since then Merlin’s presence has expanded massively – particularly after East Africa’s worst drought in 60 years left millions in need of humanitarian aid. This week, January 20th will mark six months since famine was declared in Somalia.
Up to 750,000 people face death from hunger in East Africa. Millions more are at risk across the region in the worst food crisis of the 21st century. They will have to bear a legacy of poverty, suffering, and the loss of their livelihoods. Urgent action is needed right now.
But the truth is that this crisis was predicted – and preventable: we already have the knowledge to stop this kind of tragedy from unfolding; we know the steps that must be taken to prevent suffering on this scale.
As the famine spreads in Somalia, British-based health charity Merlin has intensified its efforts to reach those most in need.
Merlin, which has been delivering medical expertise in the Horn of Africa for more than 10 years, is preparing to almost double its number of health facilities from 24 to 47 and massively scale up the number of mobile clinics from four to 35.
Merlin's Chief Executive Carolyn Miller says:
Merlin's Country Director in Somalia, Louise Patterson, writes about what it's like to deliver health care in "one of the toughest places in the world".
Somalia is a country that is probably best known around the world for its political fragility, yet this is just the start of the problems faced by the majority of Somalia’s 7.5 million people.
Somalia has recently been called Hell’s Kitchen due to the scorching temperatures and drought in the country that is resulting in many people relying on food aid just to survive.
As part of its Global Food Crisis appeal, Merlin is massively scaling up its work in some of the worst affected areas in the world - Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
Having worked in east Africa for more than a decade, Merlin’s medical experts are already in place where they are needed most, which means that Merlin can respond immediately to the situation on the ground.
Merlin is training and recruiting more health care workers, extending its existing health care services and making sure that local hospitals are open 24/7 to deal with the most complex cases.
London, 4 July 2011
British-based medical aid agency Merlin is poised to massively scale up its operations in the Horn of Africa, which is in the grip of a severe food crisis.
Merlin has been working in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia for nearly a decade. In many parts of Somalia, Merlin is the only health agency on the ground, providing a vital lifeline for vulnerable communities. Other agencies have left large swathes of the country due to security problems but Merlin has remained, determined and undaunted.
London, June 2011
As David Cameron prepares to pledge millions of UK aid towards vaccines at a conference on June 13th, international health charity Merlin urges the money to be spent where the most children’s lives will be saved.
50% of all children who die before their fifth birthday are born in forgotten or conflict-ridden countries such as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and Somalia.[i] Afghanistan has the world’s second highest number of child deaths with nearly 20% of Afghan children dying before their fifth birthday.[ii]
At a glance
Current number of people of humanitarian concern: 3.64 million
Number of displaced people: 1.55 million
Total CAP requirements for 2010 in health: USD $46.4 million
Number of health cluster projects in CAP 2010: 36
Number of health cluster partners in 2010: 18 who contributed to the CAP; over 30 active partners in coordination
The health cluster produces a regular bulletin of partners' activities
On 3 December, a suicide bomber at a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu claimed the lives of 20 people and injured over 60. Among the dead and wounded was some of the country's brightest medical talent.
Over 20 medical students were celebrating their graduation from Benadir University. Hundreds of friends, family, professors and senior Ministers had gathered to share in their phenomenal achievement: the students are only the second class to complete their training, having spent six years studying.
To mark World Food Day, Merlin is calling on the international community to step up support to help the drought-affected communities in the region weather the crisis.
An extended drought, failing crops and the escalating need for food support in East Africa has tipped the delicate balance of food security in the region, putting millions of people at greater risk of malnutrition and disease. Currently at eight million, the number of people in need of food support is expected to reach 12 million.
Clean water sources are also steadily diminishing allowing diseases to gain ground.
On World Humanitarian Day, Merlin honours all those who have lost their lives carrying out humanitarian work in the field and acknowledges those who are currently working in some of the most hostile environments in the world.
Linda Doull, Merlin's Director of Health and Policy said: "We welcome this opportunity organised by the UN, as it has never been so dangerous to be an aid worker. In 2008, 122 aid workers were killed, compared to 79 in 2007 and 86 in 2006.
Currently across the globe 800 million people are going hungry each year, with 3.5 million children under five dying as a result of malnutrition. This figure is set to rise as the factors at the root of this crisis show no signs of diminishing.
The increasing occurrence of drought due to climate change, a growth in the production of bio-fuels combined with unprecedented energy prices affecting trade, has led to a huge escalation in the price of food. Certain commodities such as wheat, maize and oils have doubled in price since 2005.
Somalia is a fragile, volatile home to more displaced people than any other country on earth.
For over 17 years, Somalia has struggled to survive without an effective, central government. Thousands have fled the country, many risking their lives on overloaded, under-equipped boats heading for Yemen, a country which needs international support just to feed its own people.
Two years on from the Asian tsunami, Merlin has made significant progress in reconstruction of health centres and strengthening health services in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and in helping to control disease outbreaks in Somalia. Merlin is aiming to complete the majority of these projects by the end of 2007.
In total, Merlin received £18.6 million in donations for tsunami-affected countries.
Merlin's work in Sri Lanka has focused on Batticaloa and Ampara districts on the east coast.
Six months on after the tsunami, Merlin, the UK-based medical relief and health care charity, is pleased to have contributed to the prevention of major disease outbreaks in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
To highlight some of our key achievements, we are releasing a new video today on our tsunami response during the relief phase.