You have seen the devastating photographs in the news: East Africa is currently experiencing its worst drought in over 60 years, causing famine conditions in parts of Somalia and a growing refugee crisis. At least 12 million people in Somalia and neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are suffering from acute food shortages and malnutrition. Tens of thousands have already died.
The root causes of the crisis are complex, but right now our focus must be on getting help to those who need it most.
In the very first phase of our response, AJWS partnered with international humanitarian organizations working at the frontlines of the crisis to save the lives of vulnerable women and children. As we move forward, we are focusing on providing support to community-based organizations in areas affected by the famine and drought.
To address immediate needs, AJWS has provided grants to the following organizations:
- Northern Aid, to implement an innovative, locally-sourced food aid program by paying local herders for livestock that will likely die from the drought, and then distributing meat to female-headed households in need of food.
- Women for Peace and Development Kenya, to provide locally-sourced food aid to vulnerable households near the border of Somalia and to support victims of sexual violence.
We have also begun discussions with several other community-based organizations that will provide: food aid to women-led households and girls’ schools; access to safe water and sanitation facilities; and relief to Somali refugee women who have not been able to settle in the camps because of security threats and overcrowding.
To learn more about the complexity of this disaster, please read these blog posts by AJWS staff members Gitta Zomorodi and Jaron Vogelsang. We promise to keep you informed as the situation develops. Please use the secure form below to make your tax-deductible donation. Thank you for your generosity in this time of crisis.