Donations from the UK public to the DEC appeal to help people suffering from severe food shortages in East Africa have topped a milestone £20 million.
The worst drought in 60 years in parts of East Africa has devastated cattle and crops creating a humanitarian emergency, with problems expected to be compounded by a poor coming harvest. The situation is getting more desperate by the day and fears are growing, particularly for the situation in south and central Somalia.
More than 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the newly-formed Republic of South Sudan have been left in need of food, water and emergency healthcare.
Chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee Brendan Gormley said: “The UK is leading the way with its generous donations but further funds are urgently needed. DEC members are scaling up their activities, including in south and central Somalia and desperately need more resources to meet the increasing needs. The situation is continuing to deteriorate and I urge the public to donate whatever they can today to help us save lives. Every second counts.”
Rising food prices, even in cities and towns, across the region have added to the food crisis. Many families have been left unable to afford even one proper meal and with five months to go before the next harvest, aid agencies need all the support they can get.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee Somalia due to the drought and conflict and fears are growing that the crisis could escalate. Refugees are dying of causes related to malnutrition either during the journey or very shortly after arrival at aid camps.