Famine declared in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa also at risk
The United Nations has declared a famine in parts of South Sudan, the first to be announced anywhere in the world in six years.
Reports emerging from the region indicate this crisis is set to become worse than the last famine in 2011.
As many as 100,000 people in South Sudan are facing starvation with a further one million classified as being on the brink of famine.
The Horn of Africa which includes Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia has been hit by months-long drought. Somalia’s hospitals are seeing children with severe dehydration whilst in Kenya the government has declared a national emergency.
Islamic Relief is already on the ground in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan responding to the impact of the conflict and drought. In 2016, we delivered a project in Somalia which saw the distribution of emergency food supplies, medicine and the provision and restocking of animals which the population rely on heavily for milk and meat.
More recently, we implemented water trucking initiatives and provided food aid in Ethiopia in response to climatic changes. In Kenya, we implemented a £1m programme which increased the resilience of households to drought.
Imran Madden, UK Director, said: “Failing rains, shifting weather patterns combined with protracted conflict across the region have resulted in several consecutive droughts leaving millions of people in desperate need of food assistance. If we do not act quickly enough to this crisis, it will lead to people starving to death. We need our supporters to donate generously and we need unimpeded access to the worst affected areas. This is literally a matter of life and death.”