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East Africa Child Hunger and Famine Relief Fund

by Save the Children Federation
East Africa Child Hunger and Famine Relief Fund
East Africa Child Hunger and Famine Relief Fund
East Africa Child Hunger and Famine Relief Fund
East Africa Child Hunger and Famine Relief Fund
Halimo poses with her granddaughters
Halimo poses with her granddaughters

At the beginning of 2017, millions of children were starving as an extreme food crisis tightened its grip across East Africa. A combination of prolonged drought and conflict caused a devastating cycle of hunger and disease.

Famine was declared in parts of South Sudan. While the food insecurity in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya was reaching catastrophic levels.

Without an urgent global response, millions of children across the region would be on the brink of starvation. And even more were at risk of killer diseases.

It was a scenario we’d been faced with before. When famine hit parts of Africa in 2011, a quarter of a million people lost their lives.

 

We refused to let this happen again.

 

Thanks to the incredible response from our supporters, working closely with the rest of the international community, we helped avert famine in many areas across the region.

Save the Children was proud to be at the forefront of the international response, leading calls to action and scaling up our programmes in affected regions at an unprecedented rate.

Since we launched our emergency response over a year and half ago we’ve reached more than 4.5 million people, including 3 million children with lifesaving support.

 

OUR RESPONSE

  • We ran huge scale food distributions
  • We provided access to clean and safe water
  • We set up high-quality health and nutrition centres, and brought this care to hard-to-reach communities through mobile health clinics
  • We treated children and mothers with severe acute malnutrition
  • We vaccinated children against deadly diseases and treated the biggest child killers such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.
  • We built sanitation facilities and promoted good hygiene practices within communities to curb the spread of diseases.
  • We established learning and play areas to ensure children are protected and can continue their education.
  • We gave families small cash grants, food vouchers and animal feed for livestock to help them recover their livelihoods.
Jacob is no longer malnourished
Jacob is no longer malnourished
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In many ways, four-year-old Jacob is just like any other little boy his age. He likes playing with his friends, enjoys stories from his mother and is never happier than when eating!

Yet Jacob has more reason than most to look forward to his next meal. In rural Kenya where he lives, there’s very little food to go round.

His mother, Alice, told us more. “It is because of the drought that we are hungry,” she explained, “Because our livestock has died.” Losing their three goats was a bitter blow to the family and left them struggling desperately for survival.

With no milk or meat to live on, it’s no wonder that little Jacob grew sick – painfully thin, weak and wracked with diarrhea. But thankfully, Save the Children has set up an outreach health center not far from his home. And there, he was diagnosed with malnutrition and given a nutrient-rich peanut paste to save his life. It took eight long months to nurse Jacob back to health, but he was lucky enough to make a full recovery.

“His condition is now better,” says his relieved mother. “I can’t see any problems with him any more.” Now expecting another baby, she too has received help from our health center – including bags of special flour that she can turn into nutritious porridge. She’s also been taught about the importance of hygiene and given a bucket, bars of soap and a towel to encourage regular hand-washing.

“I am grateful, having the Save the Children center close at hand has changed everything for the family – and given everyone hope for the future for children’s in this area,” she says, as she watches Jacob play with his brother. Having our health.

In Jacob’s mother Alice’s own words: “During the drought Save the Children provided a lot of support, especially to my family. An outreach site had been established about 4km from here, and I was able to receive Corn Soya Bean, which is flour used to make porridge, medical care, a lot of check-ups just to find out if am okay. At the same outreach site they screened my son and provided him with Plumpy’Nut for 8 consecutive months. He is now healthier than before. They educated us on the importance of hygiene to reduce cases of diseases. Save the Children team provided us with a bucket which had bars of soap, and a towel for use after thorough hand washing. I am grateful for Save the Children’s work in this area.”

Thank you for your continued support!

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Amran* holds her six month-old son, Sakariye*
Amran* holds her six month-old son, Sakariye*

At six-months-old, many babies start to sit up. They’ve usually been able to roll over for a while, but Sakariye couldn’t. He was too weak.

Sakariye’s* mum, Amran*, remembers the first time her son was seriously ill. “He was 15 days old. First, he had problems breathing, then he got measles.” Amran did her best to care for him. She tried to get him medicine. She breastfed him, but he continued to struggle. A baby’s health is closely linked to its mother’s and so it was for Sakariye and Amran.

Across East Africa, children like Sakariye are at risk. Changing weather patterns mean families can no longer count on the rains to come when they used to. Instead, they may get floods that destroy their homes, followed by a long, severe drought that kills their crops and livestock.

When drought caused food shortages in Somalia where the family lives, Amran did what any parent would do. She put her young children first. She gave them the little food she had, but then she fell ill.

“I wasn’t able to breastfeed Sakariye because I was sick and malnourished,” says Amran.

Sakariye began to get frequent diarrhea. He started vomiting and having fevers. He grew so weak he couldn’t turn over any more. Amran knew her baby was in danger. She brought him to Save the Children’s treatment center, where he was diagnosed with malnutrition and admitted.

Today, Amran is sitting by her son’s cot on the ward. She’s smiling because she has seen big changes in him during the last few days.

“It is good we are here,” she says. “Sakariye has started recovering. He receives food and medicines. They give him some nice therapeutic milk.” Sakariye is getting stronger and so is his mum. Amran is able to breast-feed again and she is looking forward to taking her son home.

All across East Africa, babies and young children are at risk of malnutrition. Save the Children is working to screen children and treat them with therapeutic food and medicine.

Close to 14 million people are in need of food assistance in the Horn of Africa: 2.7 million of them are in Somalia. Save the Children is on the ground providing support via Outpatient programs, Mobile Health Units Mother and Child Health programs and special Stabilization Centers in hospitals.

Thank you for your continued support!

*Names have been changed to protect identities

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Lukan*, 3, poses for a picture with his mother
Lukan*, 3, poses for a picture with his mother

Lukan* was brought to the Save the Children stabilization center in Kapoeta by his mother when he became ill. He was not able to move or play with his friends or siblings because he was drowsy, suffered joint pain due to lack of food. He was suffering from malnourishment because at home the only food available to eat is wild fruits and boiled sorghum. 

His mother is a farmer and his father is a cattle keeper but none of their activities could help feed Lukan* and the family. Drought, pests (birds) and excessive weeds destroy their sorghum and they have little or nothing to harvest at the end of the season for the last four years. 

They eat once a day and that is none other than boiled sorghum - the only substitute is wild fruit and leaves. The family have to sleep hungry some days. With this, Lukan* developed a swelling, on his cheek, legs, feet, and hands due to lack of protein and accumulation of excessive fluid in the tissue. The skin on his body started to crack and he was diagnosed with Oedema, usually associated with low protein levels in the blood. 

After realizing Lukan’s* condition was worsening, his mother took him to Save the Children Primary Health Care/Stabilization Centre. He was put on a course of therapeutic food; milk and nutritious peanut paste and given medical treatment. After a week, his body started to peel removing the swollen skin known as oedema. He started to recover and was discharged home.

Now at home Lukan* is fine, he plays with his other brothers and sisters and his skin has recovered.  

“I am happy because my child is now fine. The sickness has gone away”, Lukan’s* mother says.

Thanks to your support, Save the Children is on the ground now, providing lifesaving support to children and families in response to this devastating food crisis. Our priority is to reach children under age 5, who are less able to withstand malnutrition and are more susceptible to disease.

Our teams are screening children for malnutrition, running feeding programs and treating malnourished children in specialized health centers. We’re also providing clean water, addressing sanitation and hygiene to prevent diseases from spreading and providing support to families who’ve lost everything. See our latest fact sheet for more information. Thank you for supporting this important work! 

*Name has been changed to protect privacy.

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Disease, starvation and war are causing a perfect storm of disaster for Yemen’s people. The region’s poorest country is on the verge of total collapse, and children are dying because they’re not able to access basic health care.” – Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s Yemen Country Director

Conflict and the worst drought in 70 years has left 20 million people in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and northeast Nigeria in urgent need of food and water. Millions more in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Niger are also suffering and need help urgently.

The threat is unprecedented – right now, 20 million people are at risk of famine, and if no action is taken, an additional 10 million will face the same threat. Save the Children is on the ground providing emergency assistance – lifesaving food, water and medical care – to children and families who desperately need our help. But we can’t do it alone.

The time to act is now. We need your generous gift to combat hunger in Africa and Yemen and prevent more famine in Africa. Your 100% tax-deductible gift can help save those most vulnerable in this crisis: children.

If we don’t act now, the unthinkable will happen – many children will die.

Save the Children is on the ground now, providing lifesaving support to children and families in response to this devastating food crisis. Our priority is to reach children under age 5, who are less able to withstand malnutrition and are more susceptible to disease.

Our teams are screening children for malnutrition, running feeding programs and treating malnourished children in specialized health centers. We’re also providing clean water, addressing sanitation and hygiene to prevent diseases from spreading and providing support to families who’ve lost everything.Your continued support will allow Save the Children to reach more of the 20 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Thank you! 

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Organization Information

Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @savethechildren
Project Leader:
Matilda Story
Fairfield, CT United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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