Today (20 July) the United Nations has declared that the severe food crisis in East Africa has reached famine levels in parts of Somalia. Scottish-based humanitarian charity Mercy Corps said that the situation is grave and that the 10.7 million people affected by the crisis need help urgently.
Mervyn Lee, Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ European Headquarters in Edinburgh said:
“This is the worst drought the region has seen in 60 years, and the first time the UN has declared a famine since 1984. It’s affecting hundreds of thousands of families and the situation is extremely serious. We know from our teams on the ground that the drought has had a devastating impact and that millions of people are on the move looking for food and water. Traditional herders and their families have been hit the hardest, and women, children and the elderly are the first ones succumbing to starvation and disease.
“We’re already helping thousands, but the scale of this crisis is huge and it’s getting worse. We are asking the public to donate whatever they can to help us save lives.”
Mercy Corps is responding to the drought in the Horn of Africa with emergency operations in north-eastern Kenya, as well as hard-hit Ethiopia and Somalia. The charity has already helped more than 150,000 people there, and are continuing with much needed initiatives like emergency food distributions, water trucking and purification and cash-for-work schemes.
How to help:
Members of the public can donate to the Mercy Corps East Africa Crisis Appeal online at www.mercycorps.org.uk, by calling 0800 0665766 (24 hours), or by texting ‘TAKE10 £10’ to 70070 to donate £10.