Horn of Africa faces worst hunger crisis in decades – Somalia
By Nicole Watkins, Red Cross volunteer
It has been three months since the conflict in Ukraine began and the wider ramifications are being felt around the world. 4,000 miles away, in the Horn of Africa, countries are facing a food insecurity catastrophe due to the interruption of deliveries of essential supplies.
Before the conflict in Europe, almost a third of East Africa’s grain supply came from Russia and Ukraine. The conflict has upended global supplies, leaving people in the Horn of Africa without an essential supplier of food. The disruption of wheat and fertilizer supplies is worsening an already devastating situation. Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are approaching a fourth drought season – expected to be the worst in 40 years – and face a food insecurity catastrophe as their supplies dwindle and food prices rise. wheat and fertilizers.
With the conflict and devastating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine dominating the headlines, there are fears that the current crisis unfolding in the Horn of Africa may be forgotten. Amid these complex challenges, the Red Cross is committed to helping those in need with emergency humanitarian aid.
Millions of people need help
As climate change-induced disasters devastate agriculture, grasslands and water resources, the region struggles to make up the difference. Climate change, the impacts of COVID-19, locust invasions and conflicts in the region have further exacerbated an already dire situation. Today, more than 14 million people need emergency food aid. That number is expected to rise to more than 20 million as conditions worsen.
Red Cross in the field
International teams are working with local Red Cross Societies to deliver essential goods, cash assistance and implement preparedness efforts to support the most vulnerable, including more than five million children.
As reduced access to food and water sources makes the population increasingly vulnerable to hygiene, water and sanitation problems, Red Cross teams are focusing their staff on strengthening community water points and the provision of hygiene and sanitation services to deal with the complications of already threatened water sources.
Red Cross teams in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are filling the financial gap with cash assistance for vulnerable families who are affected by the global price hike. The American Red Cross is helping out. So far, the American Red Cross has donated $380,000 to the Somali Red Cross to support cash assistance and $355,000 to the Kenya Red Cross to support clean water. These efforts include water sanitation, hygiene through water trucking, and the rehabilitation of community water points and boreholes. In addition to immediate relief, Red Cross teams are also developing long-term plans, focusing their efforts on maintaining mobile health clinics and targeting hard-to-reach areas with screening for malnutrition, referrals and the supply of nutritional supplements.
Updating pre-existing solutions is one of the ways Red Cross Red Crescent teams are working to reduce vulnerability. With an additional commitment of $780,000 to the region, the American Red Cross will continue to assist in projects such as implementing holistic livelihoods interventions to achieve long-term smart livelihoods. to climate and food security in the Horn of Africa.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and comforts disaster victims; provides about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches life-saving skills; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, service members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on the volunteers and generosity of the American public to carry out its mission.
- American Red Cross
- All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided free of charge, made possible by the voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also provides nearly half of the country’s vital blood. This too is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help disaster victims, you can make a secure online donation by credit card or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish ). Or you can send your donation to your local Red Cross or American Red Cross, PO Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800 -448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross for upcoming blood drives. © Copyright, American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.