Parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing one of the worst droughts for 60 years, and around 20 million people are desperately in need of food, clean water and basic sanitation.
Many of the affected people are already living on the margins of survival due to conflict, displacement and chronic poverty.
Drought is also not a new phenomenon to the region. However, this time external factors like the price of food and fuel on the international markets and the significant fluctuations in the dollar exchange rates threaten to push millions over the edge. This may potentially develop into famine not seen on such a scale for many years. To help the affected people survive, the International Federation seeks to address both short-term and long term needs by supplying both emergency aid and targeted recovery assistance.
Despite the urgency of the situation, most world leaders are responding too slowly. Immediate aid is essential. Yet at the same time we must not let them drop the ball on long term solutions, which has so often happened in the past. We sincerely ask that you add your voice to help make a difference.
Dear world leaders.
Please urgently provide the full funding that the UN has identified as necessary to help people in the Horn of Africa, and please keep your promises to deliver the long term solutions which could prevent crises like this happening again.
Some people look back to previous droughts and question whether things will ever change. But because of the smart aid that is supporting African leadership, progress really is being made. For example, 87% of people in the world today have enough food to eat and lead healthy lives â€“ up from just 76% in 1970. And in Ethiopia the number of people malnourished has fallen from 71% in 1992 to 46% now.
But we know how to change things even more: we can help stop starvation now – and stop the causes of starvation. Firstly, we need to make sure funding is provided to pay for urgent help that will prevent people from dying. Secondly, the promises that world leaders made to invest in long term solutions must be kept, so that the people of this region can feed themselves and will not need food aid in the future.
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The last crop in this region of Djibouti was an almost total write-off, and the next harvest is not expected until mid-March at the earliest, assuming the drought abates.
(Alex Wynter/IFRC – Source)