A severe drought in East Africa has inflicted wide scale crop failures and food insecurity throughout communities already struggling to survive, affecting more than 10 million people. Thousands of refugees, the majority from Somalia, are fleeing into neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia - at some camps a reported 40 percent of new arrivals are acutely malnourished. Your support can help us bring lifesaving relief and supplies to those suffering from the worst drought in decades.
Ongoing conflict in Somalia has already led to the third highest number of refugees worldwide. Adding to the instability is what the UN describes as the "most severe drought crisis in the world today." Right now, most refugees live in overcrowded camps in Kenya and Ethiopia and thousands more are arriving each day. Extremely high malnutrition rates are already being reported, shortages of safe drinking water are increasing the risk of disease, and humanitarian resources are stretched thin.
International Medical Corps is currently on the ground in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, three countries expected to be most affected by the drought and we have already deployed an Emergency Response Team. With your support, they will provide nutrition, medicine, sanitation and other basic necessities to those in refugee camps and others affected by this crisis, and to train communities and local health care workers to multiply the impact of our programs.
Even during an emergency response, our long-term goal is always to improve medical capacity at the local level, restoring disaster-affected communities to self-reliance. Right now, International Medical Corps is working with local authorities in Ethiopia to address the nutritional, psychosocial, and hygiene needs of incoming refugees. In the future, we will focus on building local expertise through training and health education, to ensure continued quality health care for future generations.