July 13, 2011
—Severe drought in Kenya and the Horn of Africa
has pushed millions of families into despair and requires greater engagement from the international community, Christian aid organization World Vision
More than 10 million people are in dire need now that crops have failed and prices of food and fuel have skyrocketed.
“Many of those who have been hit the hardest are pastoralists,” said Nicholas Wasunna, World Vision’s emergency advisor based in Kenya. “Where they used to trade two goats for food, they are now trading four goats for the same amount of food.”
“The international community needs to take immediate action because this drought is likely to persist until 2012,” Wasunna said. “We have not seen the worst yet.”Kenya
Wasunna, who recently returned from Wajir, a drought-stricken area in the North Eastern Province of Kenya, said, “I met a mother and her child who traveled seven days to reach a hospital so the child could be treated for malnutrition
. There are 3.2 million Kenyans like them that need help, in addition to millions more in Somalia and Ethiopia.”
In Kenya, World Vision is working to increase access to safe water by rehabilitating boreholes and trucking water to vulnerable communities. The organization is also providing nutritious food through targeted, community distributions and cash voucher systems where food is available in local markets.Ethiopia
World Vision is implementing a six-month emergency response to aid more than 485,000 people severely affected by the drought in Ethiopia. They will be provided with grain, seeds, livestock, and medical support, while vulnerable children and mothers will receive supplementary food.Somalia
The crisis is especially dire in Somalia, where there are scarce resources in the South Central region after aid organizations were forced by al-Shabaab to leave in August of last year. Many Somalis are fleeing to Kenya to receive services in overcrowded refugee camps or to stay with family, further stressing already limited resources. World Vision notes the recent announcement by al-Shabaab that aid organizations will be allowed back into South Central and will be coordinating with the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations to assess the possibility of going back into the area to deliver aid.
In drought-affected communities in Somaliand and Puntland, World Vision is drilling boreholes and rehabilitating clean-water
storage facilities, as well as providing emergency feeding and cash-for-work programs.
World Vision is seeking to raise $49 million to help address the humanitarian effects of the drought. However, the cyclical nature of the crisis and competing stories in the international media have made fundraising difficult.
While striving to meet emergency humanitarian needs, World Vision staff is also assisting communities in seeking long-term solutions, including constructing water and irrigation systems, planting trees and rehabilitating degraded land.How to Help:
To donate to relief efforts, visit the www.worldvision.org
, call 1-888-56-CHILD or text "4AFRICA" to 20222 to donate $10.About World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews