The Food Crisis in Kenya
Since July 2011, Merlin’s emergency response in East Africa has saved lives, kept thousands (mostly children) from starvation & malnourishment, and supported & trained hundreds of local health workers.
In Kenya, Merlin has up-scaled its activities quickly and effectively. See below:
Health Facilities - Before the food crisis Merlin supported 23 health facilities in the Turkana area. Now, Merlin supports 30.
Mobile clinics (outreach teams) - Before the food crisis Merlin supported 36 locations for mobile clinics. Now, Merlin has 72 outreach sites, each location is visited twice a month by our teams.
Kenya - Fast Facts (up to end of Jan 2012):
The significant drop in malnutrition rates was attributed to a number of factors:
- A co-ordinated, efficient response by all those humanitarian agencies (including Merlin) who work in the affected region.
- The General Food Distribution (GFD) program that offers families extra food was revived in July 2011.
- The introduction of monthly food supplements to all children under five years old, pregnant women and new mothers. This program was initially only for children under three.
- Heavy rainfalls in late August – early September and again in late October - mid November. Although this also hampered Merlin mobile teams from reaching those in the most remote sites for a short period.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – a UK organization, who has given grants for Merlin’s food crisis emergency response, observed after a recent visit that Merlin was able to ‘rapidly and successfully scale up its operations and establish good links with other agencies working in the area’.
The DEC also confirmed that Merlin should remain in a constant state of emergency preparedness, ready to respond to any sudden increase in malnutrition rates, while continuing to work to prevent additional malnutrition cases and offering care to those in need.
Merlin will continue to work in the Turkana area for as long as we are needed. Our teams will offer health and nutritional care to the families and communities that need us most.
If you are able to offer more support, via a second or recurring gift, we are very grateful and promise to use the donation wisely and effectively to save lives. Thank you.
Highlighting the Food Crisis in Somalia
Over the last seven months Merlin’s emergency response in Somalia has seen successfully saving lives, kept families from being severe malnourished and seen a huge increase rise in support offered to local health workers.
Health Facilities - Before the food crisis Merlin supported 15 health facilities.
Now, Merlin supports 27 (6 in South Central and 9 in Puntland) and we plan to increase our spread even further over the next few months.
Outreach sites (mobile clinics) - Before the food crisis Merlin supported 20 health facilities.
Now, Merlin supports 50 (40 in South Central and 10 in Puntland) with a plan to increase this number further in Quarter 1, 2012.
By the end of 2011:
In Oct 2011, nutrition and mortality surveys indicated extremely high levels of global, acute malnutrition (GAM), rates were between 20 and 34.5%. Severe, acute malnutrition (SAM) was between 6 and 11%, compared to the ‘normal’ levels of 15.9% (GAM) and 4.9% (SAM), for this time of year. The number of children dying each month fell at the end of 2011. However, levels are still high, with up to 8 children out of every 10,000 dying each day.
On Nov 28, 2011 the Somali group which control southern and central Somalia areas, banned 16 humanitarian agencies including: UNICEF, Concern Worldwide, World Health Organisation and several other UN agencies. Most of these groups have been working in the region since the last famine in the 1990s. Their dismissal has caused large gaps in aid coverage and access to the strong tribal systems that exist. Merlin and other agencies that remain, are working hard to quickly establish and build relationships to continue an effective aid program.
Money transfers from Diaspora Somali groups have to date kept many Somali families from hunger and starvation. The US Dept. Of Treasury estimates annual transfers from the US alone, is close to $100 million.
In 2012, the number of Somalis facing starvation - those who will die if not offered assistance - has fallen from 750,000 to 250,000. This means that there are still a quarter of a million of men, women and children in dire need of help.
Merlin will continue to work in Somali for as long as we are permitted, offering health care and nutrition to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
If you are able to offer your continued support, via a second or recurring gift, we will use it effectively to save lives.
Thank you for your interest in our work.
Thank you for your support of Merlin's work in East Africa. As you will read although numbers have dropped there is still a huge need. If you can give another gift, Merlin teams and the families we care for would be very grateful.
Below is an Update on our work for the week commencing Jan 20, 2012
The revised Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) launched by UN’s OCHA ( Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs) on January 19, 2012 calls for an additional US$ 168.7 million in humanitarian funding to meet food and non-food needs in Ethiopia for some 3.2 million people between January and June 2012. According to the HRD, Ethiopia needs 403 tons of emergency food aid.
In the past the number of people in need of aid topped 4.5 million, the reduction of 1.3million is due to a coordinated effort by all the local, national and international humanitarian organizations.
Merlin in Ethiopia
Merlin in Kenya
November 2011 Activities
November brought very heavy rains to the regions that Merlin work in, and some health facilities and remote villages were difficult or impossible to access. In some areas the rain meant there were less water shortages and pasture began to regenerate.
A more general update will follow in a few weeks. Thank you again for your support of our work.
The Holiday Season is upon us and I am sure you are thinking of what to give others, as well as what you may soon receive. You generously supported Merlin's emergency response program in East Africa and below is an update on our work, to keep you informed.
Unfortunately, we continue to ask for support - with over four million in need of assistance in Somalia alone, there is still, so much that needs to be done. If you are able to offer us an additional or recurring gift, please consider doing so. Your gift will make a difference; it will give hope and help to save lives.
Update on the general situation in East Africa
Update on Merlin's work in October
From everyone at Merlin, thank you for your support and interest in our work.
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