Ethiopia + 2 more

El Niño food crisis

Millions of people in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Malawi face hunger and food shortages.

This regional food crisis is caused by El Niño weather conditions, which are closely linked to droughts and prolonged dry spells.

The current El Niño is on course to be the strongest and longest for 35 years. Its devastating effects have already hindered crop production and caused food shortages across the southern and east Africa region.

Although the severe weather conditions are expected to last until mid-2016, but the knock on effects mean the food crisis will continue well into 2017.

‘We’re responding where we can’

'The scale and magnitude of this situation is unprecedented,' says Maurice Onyango Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes in Africa.

'Those at risk of food and water shortages are in a life-threatening situation. Vulnerable households desperately need help to get basic food and nutrition.

'We’re responding where we can, to ensure that people don’t go hungry. We hope to intensify our efforts in the coming weeks and months.'

Ethiopia: worst drought in 30 years

More than 10 million people are at risk following Ethiopia’s worst drought in three decades. Farmers haven’t been able to harvest any crops for two planting seasons, creating food shortages across six regions.

In rural areas hundreds of thousands of animals have died. We’ve released an initial £50,000 of emergency funds to help communities who have been hit hardest.

We’ll work with our partner HUNDEE to provide school meals for over 4,000 children who do not have enough food for one meal a day. We’re also making sure that 700 children in two more schools have access to safe drinking water.

Zimbabwe: state of disaster

Zimbabwe has declared a state of disaster triggered by the drought.

Experts predict 75% of harvests will fail, particularly in southern areas, and 2.8 million people will be affected.

The prolonged dry spells means families will be unable to grow crops or feed their livestock: their main source of food and income.

We have four partners ready to respond in the worst-hit areas. They plan to provide supplementary food for livestock, cash or cash vouchers to help families purchase essentials, and direct food aid where there are no markets.

They also plan to carry out emergency repairs on water facilities and boreholes.

Malawi: acute food shortages

In Malawi, over 2.8 million people face hunger and acute food shortages, in the country’s most severe food crisis in a decade.

This is due to drought, late and erratic rains and last year’s major floods, which destroyed homes, farm land, food crops and reserves. Crops have failed and food prices have risen, making it hard for people to feed their families.

Christian Aid Malawi has participated in planning processes for national food deficit response, working alongside the World Food Programme and the government, who have appealed for funds to give food aid and cash vouchers to the most vulnerable households.

What you can do

Please donate to our emergencies fund, so we can continue to help families who are suffering as a result of extreme weather and natural disasters.