A year and a half after we launched our East Africa food crisis appeal, Christian Aid is still responding and helping communities to recover after the region experienced its worst drought in 60 years.
Drought and displacement
In 2011, drought and displacement combined with rising food prices left more than 13 million people in the east and the Horn of Africa in urgent need of humanitarian support.
The situation was exacerbated by conflict and insecurity within South Sudan and Somalia, which left large numbers of people displaced and facing food shortages.
Rains arrive in east Africa
The arrival of rains in late 2011 ensured regrowth of pasture land, which is so essential for pastoralists’ livestock. The coming harvest in most of Ethiopia and Kenya is expected to be normal, reducing stress on families across the region.
However, ongoing insecurity affecting South Sudan and Somalia means many continue to need emergency relief.
Christian Aid partners’ response
Thanks to the public’s generosity, Christian Aid has received £7.7 million to respond to the crisis, including £2.7 million donated through the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal. This allowed our partners to help support more than 600,000 of the region’s most vulnerable people.
While we continue to fund emergency work in Somalia and South Sudan where conflict continues to affect the populations, our partners are now supporting longer-term work helping communities to recover their livelihoods in southern Ethiopia and Kenya.
Christian Aid is working with communities and partner organisations to make sure they can get their voices heard. They are championing the need to improve responses to warning signs, and for greater investment in national responses to emergencies.
Christian Aid is also working with partners to ask governments to provide better services and help for communities to withstand future crises.
Christian Aid worked through Lutheran World Federation and Action for Development in southern Ethiopia to meet people’s immediate needs, including:
• providing safe drinking water for at least 53,000 Somali refugees in Dollo Ado camp, and 11,000 vulnerable people
• distributing emergency food to more than 5,315 children and pregnant mothers
We are now supporting long-term work through Action for Development and Agri Service Ethiopia to help communities recover. This includes rehabilitating pasture land and ensuring people can access clean water for their families and livestock.
Christian Aid is also working with local governments and community-based organisations so that they have the skills to reduce the risk of, and prepare for, future droughts.
With Christian Aid funding, Northern Aid and Christian Community Services Mount Kenya East in north eastern Kenya delivered emergency relief activities.
The ways in which they are now helping communities to recover their livelihoods include:
• providing additional water points and water storage tanks, and maintaining existing boreholes to provide water for 6,500 families
• giving training, along with drought-tolerant seeds and tools, to 1,500 women farmers
• providing families with chickens and other poultry that are more resilient to dry conditions than larger animals
• helping communities improve the healthcare of livestock
• providing food, water and shelter for some 23,000 newly arrived Somali refugees, displaced by conflict and drought to Dadaab refugee camp
In Somalia, we are working through our ACT Alliance partners Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and Norwegian Church Aid, and local organisations Bani'adam and GREDO in Mogadishu. We are supporting them to:
• provide emergency food assistance to 8,000 people
• improve access to drinking water for 1,730 people displaced within Somalia
• provide 90 latrines for displaced communities
Through local partners ECS Sudra and HARD, we are working with displaced families in Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap state by:
• providing water, and improving sanitation and hygiene for over 5,400 people
• distributing food to over 6,000 displaced people in Amodich camp
• distributing emergency shelter and household goods
• providing food and other essential items, such as cooking utensils, jerry cans, blankets and mosquito nets, for more than 9,000 displaced people in Jonglei
Most significantly, our partners throughout the region are working with communities to become more resilient to future crises.
Share this article