World Vision reaches three million people with lifesaving aid across East Africa

04 Oct 2017 by World Vision International
World Vision reaches three million people with lifesaving aid across East Africa

It’s not too late to save children’s lives in East Africa, says World Vision as it reaches three million people

  • Aid organisation reaches three million people in six months
  • Hundreds of thousands of children severely malnourished, need urgent treatment to survive
  • Funding for the responses at 60%
More than 15 million children in East Africa continue to face lifelong risks to their lives and wellbeing due to ongoing drought and conflict warns World Vision six months after the aid agency began responding to the crisis.

“We are at a crossroads,” said Christopher Hoffman, World Vision’s humanitarian response director in East Africa. “People have responded to the heartbreaking needs of children, but we are still in the danger zone. More than 800,000 children remain severely malnourished and are at risk of starving to death. We have months, maybe only weeks, to stop this from happening.”

Drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, along with conflict in South Sudan and other parts of the region has led thousands of children below the age 5 into severe acute malnutrition, a fatal condition if untreated.

“We’re seeing emaciated children, nearly skeletons, lying in pain in hospital beds. Things we should never see in 2017. We’re seeing mothers unable to breastfeed because they are malnourished themselves. The hunger crisis is wreaking havoc on 24 million people here –more than the population of Berlin, London, Chicago and Bangkok combined,” Hoffman said.

In recent weeks, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya have reported a spike in malnutrition rates among children, with several areas now reporting that more than a third of their children are suffering health problems from a lack of access to nutritious food. 

The warning comes as World Vision reports that, thanks to its supporters and government donors around the world, it has reached more than three million people with emergency assistance ranging from food packages and emergency school supplies, to drought-resistant seeds, farming tools and access to clean water.

“We are humbled and encouraged by the difference we have been able to make with the money entrusted to us,” said Hoffman. “But it takes a lot more than World Vision to stop this tragedy in its tracks. Children deserve better.”

Chloe Irvine, Head of External Affairs, World Vision New Zealand  |  ‚Äč+64 22 340 4271