East Africa food crisis appeal

Months of sustained drought have plunged 12 million people into hunger, forced many families to sell livestock and for others to leave home in search of food.  Women and girls in Somaliland and Kenya are facing devastating impacts, including sexual violence and exploitation, as a result of the drought in the region.

Lack of rainfall in the worst affected areas has led to widespread crop failure and livestock death, causing families to sell their few remaining assets, such as their surviving animals, and to leave their homes in search of food and water.  The United Nations now fears the situation could be worse than the 2010-11 famine which killed more than a quarter of a million people in Somalia alone.  The UN estimates it needs $1.9 billion to deal with the crisis in the Horn of Africa, but warns it is grossly underfunded.

ActionAid is working with communities to respond to the crisis with food and water distribution, but the situation is critical. More support is desperately needed as conditions deteriorate.

'Right now in Somaliland 80 per cent of livestock has died as a result of the drought, ActionAid has reports of women and girls in dangerous circumstances, such as mothers reduced to eating one meal a day, children displaced and unaccompanied in the search for food and sexual violence increasing as women and girls search for water,’

warns Sadia Abdi, ActionAid’s country director in Somaliland.

In Kenya, where 2.7 million people need humanitarian aid, ActionAid Policy Manager in Kenya, Ruth Masime has reported “ Women and girls in drought stricken parts of Kenya are making increasingly long journeys just to fetch water for drinking, cooking and washing and they run the risk of sexual violence along the way.  Urgent action is needed to avert starvation, sexual violence and community breakdown”

Countries affected by drought where ActionAid is working

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.

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