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Over 16 million people are facing devastating food shortages caused by sustained drought and conflict in East Africa. The drought has caused crops to fail and cattle to die.
People are already dying in South Sudan, Somalia (including Somaliland) Kenya and Ethiopia, and if we don’t act immediately, hundreds of thousands more are at risk of dying of hunger, infection and disease, including through contaminated and dirty water.
Lack of clean water is increasing the threat of water borne diarrheal diseases. As at July 201, there have already been over 32,000 cases of acute watery diarrhoea reported in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Cholera has been confirmed in South Sudan and South Central Somalia.
We are facing the worst humanitarian disaster this century. Our local staff are on the ground right now, working with communities to respond to the crisis with food and water distribution, but the situation is critical – and getting worse. More support is desperately needed as conditions deteriorate.
‘Right now in Somaliland hunger is wrenching apart whole communities,’ warns Sadia Abdi, ActionAid’s country director in Somaliland. In an emergency, women and girls are the most vulnerable. That’s why we are distributing urgently needed food to mothers like Hinda.
35-year-old Hinda and her children were forced to leave their home in search of food and water. What they found instead was a trail of carcasses: cattle, goats and camels – the backbone of the country’s economy.
“There is no food. For the last year everything has been dying. The animals will eat anything they find, rubbish, stones, anything. They fall sick and then they die. I’m hungry. My children are hungry,” says Hinda.
East Africa crisis facts
- Somalia: 6.2 million people urgently need help. 80 per cent of livestock has been wiped out in Somaliland.
- Ethiopia: 5.6 million people need urgent food aid; three million mothers and children are acutely malnourished.
- Kenya: 2.7 million people need humanitarian aid. Women and girls are walking up to nine kilometres in search of water, say ActionAid reports.