Food Crisis Hits Horn of Africa

by Mercy Corps
Jul 31, 2012

Humanitarian Aid Making a Difference in the Horn

Girls in Somalia wait for food distribution
Girls in Somalia wait for food distribution

Last summer, when the dire situation in the Horn of Africa first emerged, our Strategic Response and Global Emergencies team immediately coordinated with Mercy Corps’ in-country staff to help people receive lifesaving food, water and health services. With a focus on getting critical humanitarian aid to the hardest-hit areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, your continued support allowed Mercy Corps to:

  • Provide 42,000 children with lifesaving food and medical care
  • Give 472,500 people clean water when they needed it most
  • Sustain 26,000 families with cash distributions to buy the food and essential supplies that are right for them
  • Distribute 16,000 sanitation kits and provide hygiene education to help prevent disease
  • Vaccinate 535,800 animals, preserving the wealth and assets of pastoral families
  • Create temporary jobs repairing and running mobile medical clinics to help keep families in their own homes, so they don't have to leave everything behind for life in tent camps

Now Mercy Corps is transitioning to longer-term programming that builds resilience to future drought and famine that are certain to recur. In the coming months, we will help people rebuild their livestock herds, diversify their income sources and better manage their water supplies. Our programs:

  • Reduce vulnerability of people to future drought and famine
  • Provide shelter and housing supplies
  • Diversify incomes, providing training and small business grants
  • Improve animal health with vaccines and veterinary treatment
  • Plant drought-resistant seeds
  • Operate mobile clinics
  • Repair and maintaining clean water-storage facilities
  • Provide hygiene education, latrines, and clean water storage
  • Improve management of land and resources to control erosion and boost crop yields

Despite all of our accomplishments, there is still much to do. We are keeping a close eye on seasonal rainfall, which is projected to remain below average in most parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. More than eight million people across the Horn of Africa are still in need of emergency assistance. One third of Somalia’s population—2.51 million people—are currently in acute humanitarian crisis, including more than 323,000 acutely malnourished children. With the help of our incredible donor community, Mercy Corps will continue to support people building resilience to future cycles of drought and hunger.

Thank you for your inspiring commitment to Mercy Corps. We are truly grateful for your generosity.

Zesino stands strong in the face of adversity
Zesino stands strong in the face of adversity
Improving the livelihoods of Kenyan pastoralists
Improving the livelihoods of Kenyan pastoralists
"Everything is possible "
"Everything is possible "



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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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