Famine has been officially declared in South Sudan, and drought conditions throughout the region have also led to food crises in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia where 19.5 million people face severe food insecurity. Concern Worldwide is one of few NGOs in the hardest to reach areas in the region. Our experienced team is currently reaching 1.8 million people through life-saving cash transfers, improved access to clean water, treatment of malnourished children and preventative health and nutrition.
A major food crisis is looming in a number of drought-hit countries in East Africa, with famine facing the worst affected areas. 19.5 million people face severe food insecurity in four countries, Somalia (6.2 million), Ethiopia (5.6 million), Kenya (2.7 million), and South Sudan (5 million). Without a massive scale up of humanitarian assistance, it is estimated that in those four countries alone, 35 million people will be unable to meet their daily food consumption needs by July of this year.
Concern has an ongoing presence and deep knowledge of all four countries now in crisis. Our teams have been working with communities in Ethiopia for over 40 years and with those in Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya for 30 years, 19 years and 15 years respectively. A large part of our emergency response right now involves urgently treating the growing number of severely malnourished children. We are also delivering cash transfers, distributing food and providing access to clean water and hygiene.
In addition to providing direct assistance to more than 1.8 million people who are in urgent need of food, Concern's work is helping strengthen families and communities by improving the quality of water, sanitation and hygiene, providing shelter to allow families to live with dignity, providing cash transfers that boost local economies and give people the ability to choose what they need, and finally, by increasing resilience through preventative health and nutrition.