East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response

by Concern Worldwide US
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East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response
East Africa Hunger Crisis: Concern's Response

Project Report | Feb 4, 2024
Uncertainty Ahead in 2024

By Wida Arzow Azizi | Development Coordinator, Concern Worldwide US

Photo: Shaloam Strooper/Concern Worldwide
Photo: Shaloam Strooper/Concern Worldwide

As we embark upon a new year, an unfortunate truth we face is that the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in East Africa, also known as the Horn of Africa, continues to persist--and while insecurities are rising, international attention and funds for this region are dwindling. Overlapping crises are working together to increase hunger. The complex crisis faced in East Africa today stems from a combination of the effects of climate change, global conflict, and widespread food insecurity. 

It is estimated that 40 million peoplacross the region rely on humanitarian assistance, many of which depend on it as their lifeline. Concern Worldwide has maintained a presence throughout the region for decades, and in 2024 we remain committed to alleviating the undeserved suffering of those that may have been forgotten about by the world. This ongoing emergency relentlessly impacts tens of millions of people, underscoring the urgent need to act swiftly to save lives. 

The ramifications of the worst drought the region has experienced in the last 40 years will impact affected communities for generations to come. Rain shortages destroyed crops, caused widespread livestock deaths, and dried up water sources. In a region where pastoralism and agriculture are heavily relied on as sources of livelihoods, this has had detrimental effects on families and their food sources. As though one climate-induced crisis was not enough to cripple this region, another was caused by the opposite of a drought...too much rain. When the much-anticipated rains finally did arrive in some parts of the region, they came in excess amounts, creating another crisis entirely. Heavy rains in parts of Ethiopia and Somalia caused dangerous flash floods in 2023, affecting over 2 million. In Somalia, excess rains caused the banks of the Shabelle River to break, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in search of safety. Over 312,000 Somalians were displaced by drought in the first four months of 2023, and over 408,000 were displaced by flooding in the last few. 

Concern supports over 500,000 people in the Horn of Africa through health and nutrition programs to navigate the impacts of these dangerous floods, distributing hygiene kits to affected households and aiming to reach thousands with cash transfers in coming months. Health and nutrition treatment, access to hygiene facilities and clean water sources and cash transfers are just a few of the ways Concern has helped mitigate the effects of this emergency. These erratic weather patterns are caused by climate change, and the way the Horn of Africa has been affected can be explained by the climate injustice experienced in the region. The combined carbon emissions of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya contribute to a mere 0.1% of the global total, whereas the carbon emissions of the G20 accounts for 76%. In simpler terms, millions of people in East Africa are suffering the consequences of a climate emergency that they did not create. 

Various factors, including the lasting impacts of COVID-19, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and outbreaks of violence in the region, have disrupted supply chains, caused price spikes and exacerbated levels of insecurity. The region's prolonged history of conflict and decades of instability have weakened health systems and undermined key infrastructure. Insufficient sanitation facilities have created conditions for disease outbreaks such as cholera and diarrhea, emphasizing the importance of implementing WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programs to address public health emergencies. Amid ongoing conflicts and power struggles, governments struggle to respond effectively, underscoring the vital role of NGOs like Concern in supporting communities until they can achieve sustainable self-reliance. Our response is tailored to the everchanging needs of vulnerable communities across East Africa as they face one emergency after the next, and some of our activities across the region include:  

  • Supporting healthcare workers in the screening and treatment for severe acute malnutrition across 870 health centers   
  • The trucking of water, rehabilitation of hygiene facilities such as boreholes and latrines, promotion of best hygiene practices and the distribution of hygiene kits   
  • Distributing food, shelter materials, emergency livestock feed and non-food items such as blankets, sleeping mats, cooking items, jerry cans, buckets, soap, and detergent  
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience building interventions 

Concern remains resolute in our dedication to working closely with local partners and communities to put a halt to the worsening crisis in the Horn of Africa. Our work, enabled by the generosity of our institutional and individual donors, plays a crucial role in uplifting affected communities. With existing resources falling short of meeting increasing needs, there is another year of uncertainty ahead as we grapple with this multi-faceted emergency, and urgent support is paramount to saving lives. 

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Oct 11, 2023
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By Wida Arzow Azizi | Development Coordinator, Concern Worldwide US

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Organization Information

Concern Worldwide US

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @concern
Project Leader:
Arzow Azizi
New York , NY United States
$21,334 raised of $30,000 goal
 
225 donations
$8,666 to go
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