According to the United Nations, more than 11.6 million people in East Africa currently face the threat of starvation, with entire families and communities abandoning their homes in desperate search of food and water.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have been the most badly affected, with Djibouti and Eritrea also at risk. Somalia has shouldered the heaviest burden, with 3.7 million Somalis facing famine in the Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions.
SOS Children is helping those who need it most urgently in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, the most badly affected countries, by working in refugee camps and communities and establishing therapeutic feeding centres, medical clinics and starting vaccination campaigns.
Kenya, like several Horn of Africa countries, has faced the perennial scourge of drought and famine and more than 2.4 million people are in urgent need of food aid, water and medicine. An lack of investment in large-scale irrigation and infrastructure projects in drought prone areas, and the increased vestiges of climate change have rendered Northern Kenya, and other parts of the country, particularly vulnerable.
The Marsabit district in North Kenya has been particularly affected by the ongoing drought. Millions are facing hunger and an uncertain future, as a drought continues to destroy their crops and livestock. Not only has this led to a desperate shortage of food and water, but it has also meant the closure of schools as thousands of school children have dropped out of school to join their parents in search of food and water.
SOS Children will support five vulnerable communities in Marsabit, which are together home to over 10,000 people. Working in partnership with other humanitarian agencies including the Red Cross, we will provide food, water and medical care to those most in need
Ten SOS Children staff members left Nairobi last week for Marsabit in the north of the country, to assist in SOS Children’s Emergency Relief operations. They are currently providing:
- Food aid to 3,000 Children
- 10,000 litres of water every week to numerous schools
- Food Vouchers / Electronic cards for 1,733 households
- Water Supplies to communities (20,000 litres every week)
- Food supplements and drugs for acute malnourished children
“We are there to inspire the community with hope”, says Joel, an SOS worker.
'What we do is to save lives' - an interview with Ruth Okowa, National Director of SOS Children's Villages Kenya.
The food is there - but no one can afford it -in both Kenya and Somalia there is food available in local stores, but most people cannot afford it. Read more about the situation and how SOS Children is securing food for the drought victims of East Africa.
Schools open during holidays to feed the children of Marsabit, Kenya - In cooperation with the local community and schools, SOS Children's Villages Kenya is handing out food in five villages of Marsabit.
How you can help
You can make a one-off donation directly to our Emergency Relief Programme in East Africa or take out a child sponsorship to help us to focus on the long-term welfare of children who have no one to care for them as a result of the famine.