CWS emergency appeal update: East Africa drought

The East African drought continues to deepen, and an estimated 13.2 million people are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. Two years of failed rains have produced the most severe drought in the region since 1950.

Appeal # 642-L
Amount: $1.2 million

kenya_cws_food

Workers prepare sacks of food at an emergency distribution made possible by the Anglican Church of Kenya and Church World Service.
Photo: Tim Shenk/CWS

take action

Amount of funds received as of Sept. 30, 2011: $283,484

September 30, 2011

Situation

The East African drought continues to deepen, and an estimated 13.2 million people are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. Two years of failed rains have produced the most severe drought in the region since 1950. The failure of harvests and the death of livestock have led to malnutrition rates in excess of 30 percent in most drought-stricken areas, according to the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission.

The availability of food continues to decline in Ethiopia and Somalia,
with famine newly declared in several Somali districts. Conditions in
parts of Kenya are expected to improve somewhat if anticipated rains
arrive in October. Even with rain, however, pastures in Kenya will not
begin to recover until December, and crops will not be ready for
harvest until January, February and March.

Because of famine and conflict in Somalia, about 25,000 refugees fled to camps around Dadaab, Kenya, in September alone. More than 444,000 Somali refugees now reside in the Dadaab camps.

CWS Response

CWS has expanded emergency food distributions through local partners in Kenya's Eastern Province.  In Mwingi district, funds from CWS have enabled the Kitui Diocese of the Anglican Church of Kenya to distribute corn, beans, salt and cooking oil to 1,107 households so far. Many residents who are receiving food are carrying out projects to conserve topsoil and water, such as removing silt from sand dams that will store water during the next rainy season.

With support from CWS, the Kitui Diocese is also distributing drought-resistant seeds so residents can plant crops including corn, beans, cow peas and sorghum. A total of 1,400 households have received seeds so far. These distributions are necessary because families have eaten their own seed stocks out of hunger.

In Kibwezi district, funds from CWS have enabled the local partner organization, Community Resource Management, to distribute food to about 100 households as of Sept. 23.

CWS continues its longstanding "Water for Life" program to develop water sources in drought-affected areas of Kenya's Rift Valley and Eastern provinces. Through this program, CWS helped construct 14 sand dams, 11 shallow wells, three borehole wells, one earthen dam and 12 rainwater tanks in 18 Kenyan communities last year.

CWS Support of ACT Alliance work

Through the ACT Alliance, CWS is supporting partner organizations in providing food, water and other emergency aid in many areas of Ethiopia and Somalia, including Somali refugee camps in Kenya.

ACT members active in Ethiopia include Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Lutheran World Federation, International Orthodox Christian Charities and Christian Aid.

ACT members active in Somalia include Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Norwegian Church Aid and Lutheran World Federation.

Details of the ACT Alliance response in Ethiopia are available online at http://bit.ly/oYZOmu.

Details of the ACT Alliance response in Somalia are available online at http://bit.ly/noMLMJ.

How to Help

Contributions to support the CWS relief response may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 and designated for the Horn of Africa appeal (642-L).


ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


Share/Save/Bookmark

Browse news release archive

 

All active news articles