International development charity Christian Aid has issued an urgent appeal to help people in East Africa survive a growing hunger crisis and calls on the UK government to ‘speed up the delivery of funds already promised”.
After the worst drought in 40 years, vulnerable people are now at risk of starvation and death. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 18.4 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are missing meals.
Yitna Tekaligne, country director of Christian Aid Ethiopia, warns that “millions of people are taking desperate measures to survive in the face of crop failures, livestock deaths, water shortages and extreme hunger”.
He added: “The difficult conditions are compounded by the climate crisis, Covid and now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have caused global food prices to skyrocket. A difficult situation has now turned into a serious crisis. To help us respond, please donate what you can. Acting now is also about hope – hope you can create with a donation today.
Working through local partners, Christian Aid operates in Ethiopia and Kenya. The charity helps more than 300,000 people by repairing wells, distributing water purification kits, providing cash assistance and trucking water to communities affected by drought, as well than by providing fodder and medicine to keep precious livestock alive.
One of the many people Christian Aid supports is Adoko Hatoro Engang. He is 76 years old and lives in a displaced persons camp in South Omo with his family. Recurrent drought and flooding, due to the climate crisis and the overflowing of the river, have destroyed his farmland and depleted his livestock. This causes hunger for his family.
“I remember when I was young, the rains followed the dry season and the floods devastated everything,” says Adoko Hatoro Engang. He adds: “If I can, I eat once a day. We only share very small amounts of food that we cook, using the money Christian Aid has given us.
Karimi Kinoti, who is based in Kenya and is Christian Aid’s Acting Director of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns, said:
“The response to humanitarian needs in Ukraine has been remarkable. The UK government must now assume its moral responsibility and urgently act in the same spirit for East Africa. Every day we delay will make it harder to avoid the tragedy.
“Ministers must accelerate the delivery of funding already pledged, reverse international aid cuts and ensure that all humanitarian and development funding supports local actors who are best placed to respond quickly.
“Longer term, we also need to tackle the impact of the climate crisis on global hunger by delivering on our climate finance pledges, including new money for loss and damage. By taking these steps, we are ensuring that a crisis like this does not escalate into a disaster. “
Christian Aid has confirmed that a donation of £15 could provide seeds and farming tools for one household, £30 will buy water hygiene kits to provide clean water for six families and £50 will provide food for a household of five.
To donate to the appeal, please visit www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/emergencies/east-africa-hunger-crisis-appeal;
Notes to editors:
Context in East Africa:
- Communities in East Africa are facing the worst drought in 40 years after four consecutive failed rainy seasons.
- 18.4 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia lack meals or have a less diverse diet. In particular, women and girls are hungry [Source: OCHA].
- 7.1 million children suffer from malnutrition in East Africa, including 2 million severely malnourished children [Source: OCHA].
- Millions of people face water shortages, many water points have dried up or lost quality, increasing the risk of disease [Source: OCHA].
- Families are taking desperate measures to survive, with more than a million abandoning their homes in search of food, water and pasture for livestock.
- At least 7 million head of cattle have died in recent months. As a result, children have less access to milk, which negatively impacts their nutrition [Source: OCHA].
- The cost of a “food basket” jumped 66% in Ethiopia (and 36% in Somalia). 90% of wheat imported into East Africa comes from Russia and Ukraine [Source: OCHA].
- Many water points have dried up or lost quality, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases and skin and eye infections, as families are forced to ration their water consumption and give priority to water consumption and cooking rather than hygiene.
- Women and girls have to walk longer distances to access water, which exacerbates their potential exposure to gender-based violence.
Response from Christian Aid:
Working through local partners, Christian Aid is responding to the severe drought in Ethiopia and Kenya and helping over 300,000 people by repairing wells, distributing water purification kits, providing cash assistance and trucking water to drought-affected communities, as well as providing fodder and medicine to keep precious livestock alive.
With funding from UNOCHA, Christian Aid, through our local partner Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Services Commission (EECMY-DASSC), will over the next year support over 200,000 people and 200,000 cows affected by drought in East and West Hararghe in Oromia, eastern Ethiopia. The project will also provide emergency feed for livestock and support veterinary treatment centers to provide vaccination and other veterinary treatment. To prevent herders from losing their livestock to the drought, they will also repair 12 broken boreholes. We will do it:
- Providing more than 5,000 (5,333) families from vulnerable pastoralist and farming communities, some of whom have been displaced due to the severity of the drought, with emergency seed kits containing nearly 19 kg (18 ,75) corn seeds as well as fertilizers to grow their own food. In addition, 500 families will receive agricultural tools to help them grow their own crops. More than 500 (520) families will receive $40 per month for three months to purchase food and other basic necessities.
- To help them keep their livestock alive, 18,000 bales of hay and 45,000 kg of animal feed will be distributed to 450 highly vulnerable families (2,475 people) living in the four districts.
- Eight veterinary treatment centers located in the four districts will receive a total of one million doses of vaccines – enough for 200,000 cattle to prevent five major livestock diseases including blackleg and anthrax. Eight processing bays will also be built. 12 broken community water supply systems in the four districts (Midega tola, Mayu Districts) East Hararghe Zone and (Burka Dimtu and Hawi Gudina) West Hararghe Zone will also be repaired to help livestock gain access to water. ‘potable water.
In addition, Action for Development will provide emergency assistance over the next six months to 85,000 people living in drought-affected communities in five districts in South Omo, Nations, Nationalities and Southern Peoples (SNNP) in Ethiopia. This project will:
- Repair 37 wells with manual pumps and build two pipe extensions as well as build 6 new water points allowing nearly 20,000 people to have access to drinking water. To help improve hygiene and sanitation, our partner will also build eight sinks around the repaired wells.
- Provide 7,500 families with kits containing 90 days of water purification tablets, a 20 liter jerrycan and a bucket to help them collect, store and drink purified and safe water. The kits will also contain enough soap and laundry detergent to last a month.
- Delivering water via tanker trucks to 24,000 people living in Dasenech and Gnangatom districts where people are severely affected by water shortages. To improve hygiene and sanitation facilities and reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases, our partner will also build ten temporary toilet blocks in public institutions in the districts of Bena Tsemay, Malé, Dasenech, Gnangatom and Salamago, benefiting to 3,000 people, as well as 8 handwashing facilities in health centers. , schools and other public places.
- Train 200 health volunteers and hygiene promoters to be able to sensitize nearly 47,000 people (46,950) in the five districts on the importance of safe sanitation to prevent the spread of disease through community sensitization sessions and door-to-door, as well as disseminating information via audio vans and displaying and distributing information posters.
- Provide 420 families in Dasenech South Omo with animal feed to 420 families and distribute drought resistant seeds to 1,200 families. To help keep the herds alive, another 350 families (nearly 2,000 people) will receive 10 bales of hay (to feed the cattle for 45 days) and enough veterinary medicine for 40,000 head of cattle.
Together with our local partner Community Initiative Facilitation and Assistance (CIFA), Christain Aid has:
- Support provided to 31,500 drought-affected people suffering from food shortages in Laisamis, Korr and Loglogo in Marsabit County, Northern Kenya.
- Improved access to water for 5,000 families (30,000 people) in Korr, Laisamis and Loglogo by helping to repair and maintain six boreholes (two in each area). These boreholes have made water accessible to more people and animals and have significantly reduced the distances that pastoralists have to travel to collect water (from 5 to 15 km instead of 20 to 60 km).
- Trained people on how to maintain and carry out minor repairs to boreholes as well as provide spare parts if they need to be repaired in the future. The boreholes are powered by diesel generators, which pump water into aboveground reservoirs. CIFA provided each borehole with 200 liters of fuel to help them operate.
- Provided to 250 vulnerable families (1,500), including pastoralists and families with members who are pregnant, new mothers and/or have children under five, approximately £20/€23 in local currency per month for 3 months so they can buy food, medicine and pay off debt.
- Deworming more than 43,000 head of cattle belonging to nearly 3,000 pastoralist families and providing emergency veterinary care. This included the deworming of nearly 19,000 sheep, over 23,000 goats, nearly 300 cattle and nearly 600 camels.
- With funding from Irish Aid, Christian Aid, through our local partner Pastoralists Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA), will provide cash and hygiene kits to over 400 families (2,508 people ) affected by drought in Laisamis, Marsabit County.