South Sudan + 3 more

Widespread food insecurity continues in East Africa

News and Press Release
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In South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, drought and conflict left almost 23 million people in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment by March 2017, when the DEC launched its appeal. While relief assistance in 2017 has been providing a life-line to people and communities in these four countries, preventing a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian crisis, persistent drought and ongoing fighting continue to affect the lives of millions. A sustained, and in places, increased relief effort is needed into 2018 to protect livelihoods and prevent loss of life.

Ongoing drought in southern and eastern Ethiopia, have been exacerbated by outbreaks of disease, the mass movement of people in search of food and water and the loss of livelihoods[i]. The World Food Programme estimates that more than 10 million people need emergency food assistance and 3.6 million malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women need supplementary feeding[ii].

In Kenya, 3.4 million people are going hungry. The areas of Kenya that are experiencing the worst effects of drought also face entrenched poverty and intermittent conflict. 369,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition and need urgent treatment.[iii]

Somalia has been plagued by violence and conflict for two decades and is now experiencing the worst drought in living memory. Almost 1 million people have left their homes in search of food, water and employment. 6.2 million people need humanitarian assistance. Malnutrition continues to escalate, with some 1.2 million children[iv] projected to be malnourished over the next year.

Renewed conflict in South Sudan has deepened the humanitarian crisis, disrupting agricultural production and crippling the economy; nearly 4 million people are currently displaced. Women and children are the most vulnerable, facing risks of violence, hunger and life-threatening disease. 4.8 million[v] are severely food insecure.

The DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal

£64 million has now been raised since the launch of the appeal on 15 March 2017, including £10 million from the UK Aid Match Scheme. By the end of the first 6 months of the response, end June 2017, all 13 DEC member charities had provided some form of humanitarian assistance and together reached more than 2 million people across the four countries.
Despite continuing conflict in South Sudan and in Al Shabab-controlled areas of Somalia, DEC members managed to get aid through to remote areas. DEC member charities concentrated efforts on the provision of food, water, cash, health, hygiene and sanitation support to help people meet their immediate needs. Food parcels and vouchers have been provided to 350,000 people and more than 170,000 people received cash to buy food and other basic items. More than 800,000 people have been reached with clean drinking water; through renovation and building of wells, boreholes, reservoirs and storage tanks. To help stop the spread of communicable diseases DEC members ran campaigns reaching over 450,000 people with hygiene messaging, provided cholera treatment to 10,532 people and trained 3,246 health staff. To support incomes, animal feed has been provided to 211,474 farmers, as well as treating and vaccinating animals. Tools, seeds, fishing lines and hooks have also been provided to help people supplement basic food supplies. DEC-funded operations will continue until September 2018, with a focus on food provision and disease prevention and treatment, although the work of DEC member charities will continue long after DEC funds run out.

Notes to editors:

Media enquiries: please call the DEC press office on 0207 255 9111 or 07930 999 014 Saleh Saeed, DEC Chief Executive, has seen first-hand the aid response in East Africa and is available for interview. Film footage and stills are available to illustrate the crisis and the aid response in operation. The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly. The UK Government has supported the appeal through UK Aid Match, by matching pound for pound money donated by the British public up to £10 million. References: [i] OCHA, Key Messages: Ethiopia Humanitarian Context, September 2017 [ii] WPF, Ethiopia Emergency Response, Ethiopia Situation Overview, September 2017 [iii] [iv]–-issue-11-3-november-2017 [v]