First, we’d like to simply say, “Thank You.” We are truly blown away by your genorosity and your willingness to partner with us in raising awareness and sharing the story of the Horn of Africa crisis.
Unfortunately, despite the tireless efforts of the Aid community, things are getting much worse. The numbers impacted have steadily grown from 11 million to over 13 million; and most tragically the number of people on the very brink of death has soared to 750,000. Because of these deteriorating conditions, we are expanding our Horn of Africa Relief Fund response and asking you to continue to stand with the people in the Horn of Africa.
Educate Yourselves: The Crisis
The crisis in the Horn of Africa is a combination of ongoing violence and political insecurity, the worst drought in 60 years and a famine in Somalia that is one of the worst the world has seen in over 20 years. These issues are converging on the region and are severely impacting over 13 million people though displacement, hunger, diseases and death. Over 700,000 people have left their homes in desperate search of food, water and medical attention. Tens of thousands of people have died and the UN has issued a warning that 750,000 more people will soon die if things do not improve quickly.
Agriculture is the predominant source of income and food in the Horn of Africa and with an abnormally long and severe dry season this past year the people in the Horn are faced with an emergency food insecurity situation. With crops withering away in the relentless drought and cattle dying from lack of water and food, the families are forced to leave their homes because they can no longer purchase nor produce food for their families.
Violence and Political Insecurity
The political insecurity from the failed state of Somalia has led to soaring food prices (up 200% in some regions), lack of access to basic resources and the violence that tragically characterizes Somalia for the rest of the world. For 20 years much of Somalia has been in a constant state of conflict that is only exacerbated by the current drought. Violent militant groups are in “control” in many regions in the Southern Somalia and they have wrecked havoc on the people in the area and have blocked aid organization completely from providing life saving aid, which accounts for many of the 750,000 people that the UN say will die if things don’t improve. The people in these blocked regions of Somalia are nearly impossible to reach and our only hope is that the blockade is lifted soon.
Let's be clear, famine is not a natural disaster; it is a man made disaster. A severe drought does not have to lead to a famine; rather it typically occurs from the combination of a water/food crisis and the type insecurity described above. The United Nations has declared a famine in six regions of Somalia, and these regions overlap with the regions where aid is being blocked by the millitant groups. Famine is slow killer, it doesn't crush buildings or flood whole regions. Famine preys on the most vulnerable and slowly starves them to death.
World Concern has been in the region for over 25 years and they were our initial partner in our relief fund. They have continued to provide crucial aid to refugees and communities throughout the Horn of Africa, particularly along the border of Somalia. Their relief efforts include: Medical care to the malnourished, food and water cash vouchers and long term solutions in communities like repairing wells and implementing better irrigation systems.
Adeso is an NGO committed to community led and sustainable development that has been in Somalia for 20 years. Our partnership with Adeso will provide direct funds to the most vulnerable families in some of the more remote communities of Somalia to help them purchase desperately needed food and water. This direct response will help keep the families in their communities and it will help save the lives of people that would otherwise be unable to access the aid in the camps in Kenya and Ethiopia
Concern Worldwide has been working in the region for over 25 years. Concern Worldwide is working on a broad mixture of issues in the region such as: protecting livestock, water infrastructure rehabilitation, seed distribution, providing vaccinations, providing stabilizing centers for severely acute malnourished children and direct food distribution.
* In addition to the Relief Fund, ODW is investing long term in the Horn of Africa. We're planting 200,000 trees in Ethiopia via our partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects. This will not only plant trees but also create jobs and living wages. Even $10 will plant 100 trees. [Learn more]
How You Can Help.
- Calculate and donate your day's wage or another amount you feel compelled to give. ODW has committed $10K. Feel free to give $10, $100, or another amount.
- Start your own personal birthday campaign in a few minutes and raise funds directly for this Horn of Africa Relief Fund!
- Become a Partnering Group (Business, Nonprofit, School, Church, etc.) and start your own group campaign or share other ideas with us.
- Help spread the word: Email, Tweet, Share on FB, Like, etc.