Somalia famine declared over but crisis remains

Last month, the United Nations declared the famine in Somalia over. A combination of good rains – which meant better harvests – and food supplies from aid agencies meant that millions of people received enough food to survive.

Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to send more than £300,000 to help alleviate the situation in famine-hit areas of East Africa. In the last five months, MRDF has supported relief work in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, where over 140,000 people are living in refugee camps. Most of MRDF’s funds have helped to provide emergency supplies to people at the camps in Ethiopia, which are close to the Kenya/Somalia border. 26% of children screened in two of these camps were severely malnourished. 

Donations to MRDF’s appeal enabled Kenyan farmers and pastoralists to take part in training on drought management skills and best agricultural practices. Gifts also helped to provide emergency water to primary schools to ensure they could stay open.

Unfortunately, although the famine may be officially over, many thousands of people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania are still in desperate need. MRDF is continuing to provide emergency relief through its partners in the region. Drought is likely to return to Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa over the next three months, according to regional climate scientists who met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, at the end of February.

To the west, in the Sahel countries of Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania, 14 million people are threatened with food shortages. MRDF is also continuing its work with vulnerable communities in Mali, where funds are helping people prepare for food insecurity, by providing seed banks, water pumps, and training in more efficient vegetable growing.

Please pray for the gu rains – the long rains that are due to start in April and herald the main planting season. Please give financially if you are able. We are so grateful for the donations we’ve already received but as you can see, the danger isn’t over yet. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, wrote earlier this month: ‘Droughts are not preventable. But hunger and famine are.’

Click on the link below to donate securely online now, selecting 'AFC - Africa Food Crisis' in the Additional details box on the donation form.


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