The worst drought in 60 years has left more than 12.5 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya at risk of severe food and water shortages. Our field teams have reported that the number of malnourished children is rising.
Mercy Corps experts with deep experience in humanitarian relief have said this is one of the worst situations they have seen. Your donation will help us ramp up our work in hard-hit Ethiopia and Somalia, and emergency operations in Kenya and help people survive.
The region's drought crisis has been growing steadily for months. Many inhabitants are traditional herders whose livestock are dying in massive numbers. Families have begun walking hundreds of miles in search of water, losing loved ones along the way from malnutrition and disease. Aid camps are strained to the breaking point. Rains that have come are not enough.
This crisis could prove worse than in Ethiopia in 1984 which ultimately killed one million and prompted LiveAid benefit concert.
Mercy Corps is focusing efforts on the most vulnerable in villages and towns. Delivering resources to people where they are today will make them less likely to move to overcrowded camps tomorrow. Mercy Corps will ramp up its existing programs and provide vouchers for food and water, water purification, emergency nutrition, and cash for work. Food, and in some cases even water, is available in much of the region, but prices have soared and people lack income to pay for these resources.
When famine occurs, Mercy Corps quickly delivers immediate assistance to hungry families through food distributions. At the same time, we always focus on helping people feed themselves over the long term. That's why our economic and agricultural projects are geared toward self-sufficiency: we're teaching people to plant higher-yield crops and earn the highest possible prices for their harvests. Growing more food and making a better living are the best ways to ensure families have enough to eat.