Appeals & Response Plans
- Tropical Cyclone Luban - Oct 2018
- Somalia: Polio Outbreak - Aug 2018
- 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
Most read reports
- Drought Crisis in Somalia: More coordination is needed to face upcoming humanitarian crises
- East Africa Food Security Alert: December 7, 2018
- Outbreak Update – Cholera in Somalia, 7 December 2018
- Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 1 November - 4 December 2018 [EN/SO]
- UNHCR Somalia Factsheet - 1 - 30 November 2018
New publication launched: Local Humanitarian Action in Practice – Case Studies and Reflections of Local Humanitarian Actors
This is a guest blog by Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, who recently visited the Red Cross programme at Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.
Dadaab refugee camp is said to be the largest in the world. With an estimated population of 500,000 people, no one can say exactly how many people live here – it changes every day. But many have been here for 20 years, and others have known no other home.
Our east Africa representative, Karen Peachey, has been working in the region – or supporting work there – for over 20 years. She answers some questions about our response to east Africa’s food crisis.
One year since the British Red Cross launched its East Africa Food Crisis Appeal, what is the situation?
Rains have been good in many parts of the region and this has improved the overall food security situation. However, the rains have not come in some areas – which means some communities are still at risk.
By Ellie Matthews
One year on, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has supported millions of people across the horn of Africa.
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.
By Ellie Matthews
The Kenya Red Cross is managing Ifo II West refugee camp in Dadaab and providing essential health and nutrition services, psycho-social support, security training and hygiene promotion services in Ifo II East. At the request of the UN Refugee Agency it is also taking on other health, water and sanitation services that were previously provided by other agencies.
By Ellie Matthews April 4, 2012 at 9:30 am
Dadaab – the world’s oldest and largest refugee camp complex – is facing ever more serious and complex problems. But, while many organisations have pulled out due to the deteriorating security situation, the Kenya Red Cross is scaling up its operation.
The camp was established in Kenya in 1991, when many people fled their homes during the civil war in Somalia. Although originally designed for 90,000 people, the camp now holds over 450,000 refugees – in terms of population, Dadaab camp is effectively Kenya’s third largest city.
By Ellie Matthews
Southern Somalia is no longer in famine. While this is an improvement, it is not the end of the story. Nearly a third of Somalia’s population remains in crisis. That means 250,000 people still risk starving to death.
Moreover, if the causes of this famine are not addressed, it will continue to be a recurring threat in Somalia and elsewhere in the region.
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.
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.
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.
Six months on from the launch of our East Africa Food Crisis Appeal, the generosity of our donors has helped the Red Cross provide urgent relief to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable, malnourished people.
When several areas of Somalia where in a state of famine, the Red Cross provided healthcare, food, water and therapeutic feeding programmes. Through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent, British Red Cross funds were able to reach areas of Somalia off-limits to many other agencies.
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.”
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.
Karen Peachey is the British Red Cross’ east Africa representative, based in Nairobi.
The story of the east Africa food crisis is not just about failed rain – there are a lot of confounding factors. It’s a very diverse region. The Kenyan story is different than what’s happening in Somalia, and it’s a totally different story than what’s happening in Dadaab.
By Katrina Crew
Twenty years ago fax machines were almost everywhere, but today most people would be hard-pressed to recite their company’s fax number. Soon they’ll probably go the way of the telegraph, becoming dusty museum pieces. Communications technology is changing rapidly, and humanitarian organisations are adapting alongside it.
But how can technology be used to fight food insecurity in a region as large and diverse as east Africa?
Yves Van Loo is the International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) spokesperson for Somalia. He describes how the Red Cross and Somali Red Crescent have been helping people suffering from famine.
1) What has the ICRC delivered in Somalia so far and where has it been delivered?
We have delivered 3,000 tons of food – one month’s ration of food for 162,000 people in eight provinces in the south of Somalia. The food ration consists of rice, beans and oil.
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:
With more than 10 million people struggling to get enough food in East Africa, the Red Cross is providing food, water and healthcare to the most affected communities.
UN estimates suggest that 2.85 million people in Somalia – 32 per cent of the population – require humanitarian aid. In drought-afflicted regions of Kenya, between 3m to 3.5m people have been severely affected.
In Somalia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is responding to the severe drought by providing healthcare, food and water.
As the humanitarian crisis in East Africa deepens, the Red Cross is increasing its reach to the most vulnerable people and opening ten new feeding centres in Somalia.
Levels of malnutrition in Somalia, especially for children under five years old, have reached a new peak and are currently the highest in the world. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent are building on their existing healthcare facilities and opening new feeding centres in Bakool, Gedo and the Afgoye corridor.