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Ten million in east Africa face starvation following worst drought in 60 years

July 1 2011 - Christian Aid has launched an emergency humanitarian appeal to help people across the east and Horn of Africa after two failed rainy seasons have left ten million on the brink of starvation.

Drought and displacement combined with rising global food prices have left Kenya and Ethiopia in particular facing severe food shortages, with UNOCHA reporting that the regional situation is the worst food security crisis in the world today.

Some parts of the region are experiencing the driest conditions in 60 years, and Christian Aid emergency teams are continuously assessing how best to help local populations.

‘The crisis has been building for some time, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia, and is fast escalating across the region,’ warns Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s humanitarian director.

‘People are desperate and if we don’t act now we could be looking at one of the worst humanitarian situations the world has seen in a long time.’

Funds are urgently needed for life saving measures such as:

· Provision of water for villages experiencing the worst of the drought conditions

· Food for families, malnourished children and pregnant women

· Animal feed to protect livestock that are so crucial to survival.

To make a donation to Christian Aid’s East Africa Food Crisis Appeal call 08080 004 004 or visit www.christianaid.org.uk/east-africa-appeal

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If you would like further information please contact Emma Pomfret on 020 7523 2427 or epomfret@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk