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The headlines in 2017 were full of heart-wrenching stories and images of natural disasters wreaking havoc on communities around the world. When disaster strikes, the immediate concern of all humanitarian responders is, and should be, how to help people meet their basic, urgent needs, like food, water and shelter. But how a response is conducted can have significant implications on how the community recovers — and how fast.
After a disaster, the immediate concern of all humanitarian responders is—and should be—to help affected populations meet their basic, urgent needs. But how a response is conducted can have significant implications on how the community recovers—and how fast.
The road to starvation can be long and agonizing. But for Hauwa, it happened in an instant.
One afternoon last February, Hauwa and her five children were home on their farm in Nigeria when the distant rumble of motorcycles broke through the peace of their village. Boko Haram had come. The village scattered: Hauwa dropped everything, grabbed her kids, untied the family cow and sprinted into the wilderness. In a single moment, the life they knew was over.
For around 20 million people from Africa to the Middle East, severe hunger is a daily reality.
For some, the risk of starvation is even greater. Since late 2016, conditions in Nigeria indicate that famine has occurred and might be ongoing. In South Sudan, famine has been declared, and in Somalia and Yemen there is a high risk of famine in 2017. Without immediate support, 1.4 million of those at imminent risk of death are children.
Q&A with Kate McMahon, Mercy Corps food security advisor
Right now, an estimated 20 million people are facing life-threatening hunger due to drought and conflict in four regions around the world. The United Nations recently declared famine in some parts of South Sudan and warned that famine could soon hit in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. Mercy Corps is meeting the urgent needs of tens of thousands of people in all four of countries and is working hard to prevent catastrophe in the coming weeks and months.
Chronic violence and instability in the Horn of Africa have spurred major investments in resilience in the hopes of preventing future humanitarian crises. Yet how best to build resilience in conflict contexts remains unclear. Mercy Corps began tackling these issues through previous research that demonstrated that peacebuilding interventions can have positive effects on pastoralists’ abilities to cope with and adapt to severe drought.
Every day there seems to be a different country in the news with a new tragic headline: Nigeria. Ukraine. Afghanistan. Yemen. And of course, Syria.
Last year, we saw an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises around the world, and thanks to supporters like you, we've been on the ground helping people survive and continue working toward a better future despite unimaginable circumstances.