Millions face starvation and tens of thousands of children in East Africa could die in the coming months

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The need is urgent. Children are facing starvation today.

East Africa Hunger Crisis

The need is urgent. Children are facing starvation today.

Millions in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia face starvation and tens of thousands of children could die in the coming months as famine, food and water shortages, and conflict affects more than 22 million people.

World Vision is there. We are on the ground providing emergency life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable. But we need your help so we can reach even more people in desperate need.

Pictured: Layla, 23, holds her severely malnourished son, Zam Zam, in a displaced persons camp in Somalia.  

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East African Hunger Crisis:
What you need to know

  • 22 million people are in crisis and in need of humanitarian assistance

 
  • Famine has been declared in South Sudan

 
  • 3.5 million children under-5 are acutely malnourished across the region

 
  • In South Sudan more than 5 million people are severely food insecure

World Vision is there on the ground:

We are providing healthcare and nutrition to those in need by 


•    Giving malnourished children lifesaving nutrition
•    Educating pregnant women and new mothers on how to stay healthy and look after their babies
•    Creating long term resilience to shocks to the food system

We are supplying clean and safe water to thousands of displaced people and refugees by

 
  • Treating water with purification sachets 
  • Trucking water into internally displaced camps
  • Providing safe water storage containers 

We are putting children first by


•    Providing education to children forced out of school
•    Offering psychosocial support to young people affected by the crisis
•    Creating awareness on child rights, gender based violence and referral pathways. 

We need your help so we can reach even more people in desperate need. 

Your monthly support will save lives and support the world’s most vulnerable children

Just $20 can provide a person with 10 days’ worth of emergency food

I want to give

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The minimum contribution for this option is $20

FAQs: East Africa Hunger Crisis

  • What has caused this hunger crisis?

    The cause of the East Africa hunger crisis is a complex combination of long term conflict, drought, and poor governance, and it has left over 22m people across East Africa in urgent need of life saving assistance. 

    The hunger crisis is forcing people to migrate into areas affected by conflict and putting children at huge risk of violence, exploitation and abuse. There are more than 3.3m refugees and increasing fragility in the region, exacerbating the need to assist in multiple areas and contexts.

  • ​What is acute and severe malnutrition?

    Acute malnutrition occurs when a child experiences a dramatic decrease in energy and nutrients over a short period of time. They no longer have a diet that is diverse or substantial enough to meet their minimal energy intakes. This results in wasting (where a child has a low weight for height ratio), or rapid weight loss, and means that a child has experienced a relatively sudden drop in food intake. This is usually due to a severe food shortage or period of illness.

    Severe acute malnutrition is defined by a very low weight for height, visible severe wasting, or by the presence of nutritional oedema - the abnormal fluid retention in the tissues, resulting especially from lack of protein in states of starvation or malnutrition. Severe wasting needs to be treated with a medical intervention and feeding plan.

    Malnutrition greatly increases the risk of children dying from common childhood diseases.  If they don’t receive treatment children who suffer from moderate acute malnutrition are 2.5 times more likely to die than a well-nourished child. If the malnutrition is severe, they are nine times more likely to die.

  • If I give to the East Africa Hunger Crisis, where does my money go?

    World Vision is on the ground, helping those most affected by the crisis. Your donations to the East Africa Hunger Crisis will enable us to support the health, nutrition, child protection, livelihoods, shelter, education and water and sanitation needs of the most vulnerable children and families across all countries affected by the crisis – South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.  

    And if you join us long term through Children in Crisis, you will also be supporting World Vision's work with the most vulnerable children around the world. You will not only be assisting those affected by the Hunger Crisis in East Africa, but the refugee children forced from their homes in Syria, and the families affected by decades of war in Afghanistan.

    World Vision is committed to ensuring the highest proportion of the money you donate gets to those in need. Last year 80.8 percent of the money received by World Vision New Zealand funded our development work overseas.

  • Why should we support famine in Africa when it keeps happening?

    The issues facing the countries hit by the hunger crisis are extremely complex. Conflict, climate change, and various other factors compound to create an unstable environment and as a result countries like those currently affected are more susceptible to famine. Unfortunately the issues these countries face are long-term and there is no easy fix. 

    World Vision works with communities over the long term to increase their resilience to external shocks, including drought. We have strong expertise in both responding to emergencies and helping communities become more resilient in the long-term. There are remarkable stories of long-term change and resilience in communities where World Vision works. For example in Kenya, a former World Vision community provided food aid to neighbouring communities after learning improved agricultural techniques. 

    In South Sudan World Vision is working to close the gap between emergency food assistance and long term development programming to provide greater resilience in the country. 

  • ​What defines famine?

    A declaration of famine is defined by a situation where even with any humanitarian assistance at least one in five households in the area have an extreme lack of food and other basic needs and where starvation, death, and destitution are evident. 

    One of the key indicators for a famine classification is that the crude mortality rate is more than two people, per 10,000 population, per day. For example, in an area with a population of 100,000, at least twenty people are dying each day. Over a month that’s 600 deaths.

  • Why support South Sudan when it seems so deeply dysfunctional?

    As an NGO, World Vision is independent, impartial, and politically neutral. We have a mandate to respond to humanitarian needs wherever they exist and on the basis of need alone.

    In natural or conflict related crises the people who always suffer worst are the most vulnerable; mothers, children and the poorest of the poor. In the case of South Sudan these are not the people responsible for the crisis. Those worst affected did not cause the conflict and they have little ability to influence the course of it.
     
    We cannot blame them for something they cannot control, any more than those affected by natural disasters, so instead we can support those affected by famine caused by factors outside their control.

  • Is the New Zealand government funding any work in East Africa?

    In response to the growing crisis in East Africa, the New Zealand Government has partnered with World Vision to provide essential aid in South Sudan.
     
    The partnership between World Vision and the New Zealand Government will provide food security and increased water and sanitation for nearly 20,000 internally displaced people and host community members in two UN Protection of Civilians sites in Melut, Upper Nile.
     
    The project will provide 1,000 households with vegetable kits, 20 farmers groups with water pumps for vegetable production, and train 1,000 people in improved agricultural practises and post-harvest management. World Vision will train 60 people in nursery establishment (tree nurseries) and management including the distribution of 2,000 tree seedlings. Two new water points will be constructed and 100 shared household latrines will be built. The project will reach 14,000 people with hygiene promotion messaging, training hygiene promoters, and setting up school hygiene clubs.

    This project will help the community respond to the current food crisis, and build long-term resilience through enhanced farming capabilities.

The crisis is claiming more lives every day in South Sudan

The crisis is claiming more lives every day in South Sudan

On 21 February 2017 famine was declared in two counties in South Sudan, the first declaration of famine anywhere in the world in six years. 

Children are facing violence, displacement, and hunger with more than one million children under-5 acutely malnourished. Years of conflict, low crop production, and a collapsed economy have caused this crisis.

We are in South Sudan treating malnutrition, teaching mothers how to prevent malnutrition, improving access to water, providing shelter and strengthening community based child protection mechanisms to ensure the safety of children.

Pictured: Little Sumaya is visibly happier and more active after receiving his first proper meal in a long time.


How this helps

World Vision is on the ground, helping those most affected by the crisis. Your donations to the East Africa Hunger Crisis enable us to provide immediate food and water relief and nutritional support to malnourished children in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.  We are also providing longer term solutions to improve health, child protection, shelter, education and water and sanitation needs of the most vulnerable children and families.

Monthly donations will also support World Vision's ongoing work with the world’s most vulnerable children including Syrian refugee children and those affected by war in Afghanistan.


Where your money goes

Your generosity is behind everything we do, and we ensure your donation has the biggest impact in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Last year 80.8 percent of donated dollars went to our work overseas, bringing real and lasting change to millions of people in need. The remaining 19.2 enabled us to advocate for greater change and to leverage your donations, turning your $1 into far more in the field.

Related Stories

Your monthly support will save lives and support the world’s most vulnerable children

Just $20 can provide a person with 10 days’ worth of emergency food

I want to give

NZD
DonationOption (Do not delete this option)
--donation--122195|--pledge--48875
The minimum contribution for this option is $20