Food Crisis Hits Horn of Africa

by Mercy Corps
Sep 9, 2011

There is Hope

A mother cradles her malnourished baby. C. Nelson.
A mother cradles her malnourished baby. C. Nelson.

Mercy Corps’ Cassandra Nelson, a humanitarian aid expert who has been a first-responder to almost every major disaster over the past decade, just returned from the Horn of Africa where she reported on the situation for CNN. Watch her slideshow and videos and read her account here on

Although the crisis in Africa's Horn has largely fallen off the front pages of newspapers, the situation "continues to deteriorate," according to the latest United Nations report. Cholera, measles and malaria are on the rise. Food prices have shot up, livestock are withering and clean water is scarce.

But because of you, we’re saving more lives every day.

Last week, Mercy Corps made the first of daily deliveries of clean drinking water to three tent camps in Mogadishu. It’s home to tens of thousands of people who’ve flocked to Somalia’s capital seeking refuge from the drought. We’re also working to protect women in the camps by training healthcare providers, community elders and others -- half of whom are women -- on ways to maximize safety and report crimes.

In Ethiopia, we’re providing vaccinations, medical check-ups and fortified food to pregnant women and children under five through seven mobile health teams – we’ve served 41,000 people to date. We're also helping herders sell their weakened animals for cash to meet urgent needs, and setting up water tanks to better manage scarce resources.

In Kenya, we're trucking clean drinking water to several dozen villages in drought-stricken Wajir County, reaching nearly 200,000 people. The next phase of our work will be to provide cash vouchers so families can purchase their own basic needs while providing a boost for the local economy.

Thank You.

Your donation is making an impact. Our teams in all three countries are working around the clock to help families survive. Right now we’re helping more than 855,000 people throughout the region, and we’re ramping up programs to reach over a million people in the next few weeks. We’re providing the food and water people urgently need now, while working to strengthen communities so they’re more resilient when future shocks hit. Stay up to date on our latest efforts here.

The Crisis is Far From Over.

Unfortunately, forecasters are now predicting less-than-average rainfall in October, which would only prolong the current crisis -- and the recovery. Help us do more – you can create your own fundraising webpage in 3 easy steps through It’s a great way to spread awareness about the crisis and set a goal for friends and family to help you work toward. 

To inspire you as to what others are doing, this past weekend, three people walked 168 miles across Michigan - from Holland to Detroit - raising money for the Horn of Africa. To see their video, get updates by Twitter and Facebook and read their blog (scroll down for some great posts and pictures), go here. Other fundraising events can be found here.

Thank you for your support!

A toddler in a crowded hospital. C. Nelson.
A toddler in a crowded hospital. C. Nelson.
Mogadishu tent camps. C. Nelson.
Mogadishu tent camps. C. Nelson.



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Organization Information

Mercy Corps

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Carlene Deits
Portland, OR United States

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