In response to a growing food crisis in East Africa, Christian Aid has launched an urgent appeal. The East Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal will raise funds to support the charity’s local partners in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Following the worst drought in 40 years, millions of people in East Africa are facing the threat of famine and death. The situation is made worse by the climate emergency, the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Christian Aid’s local partners are already working in the region, supporting over 300,000 people but more must be done to help save lives and give people hope for a better future.

Christian Aid’s partners in Ethiopia, for example, will be providing life changing support over the next year through the funding of UNOCHA, which will support 200,000 people and 200,000 cattle. The project will repair 12 water boreholes and provide vital veterinary care for the cattle. Over 500 people will receive $40 per month for three months to help them buy food and other essentials. 45,000kg of animal feed will be distributed among 450 highly vulnerable families, helping them keep their livestock alive.

In Kenya, Christian Aid’s partners will provide support to 31,500 people who are experiencing food shortages. By helping to repair six water boreholes, some 30,000 people will get improved access to water. In addition 250 vulnerable families will receive £20 in local currency per month for three months so that they can buy food, medicine and pay off debt.

But far more needs to be done as the region faces its worst drought in 40 years following four consecutive failed rainy seasons. 18.4 million people across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are either missing meals or eating a less diverse diet. 7.1 million children are malnourished in East Africa, including 2 million who are severely malnourished.

Lack of water means that many people are having to take desperate measures in order to survive, including abandoning their homes in search of food, water and pasture for livestock. Alongside drought making it hard to grow crops, the cost of buying food has also risen significantly. The effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been dramatic upon this region, which imports 90% of its grain from those two countries.

Head of Christian Aid Wales, Mari McNeill, said:

‘The situation faced by millions of people in East Africa is desperate. The climate emergency has been affecting the weather patterns for some time but the impact of both the war in Ukraine and Covid-19 means that a real crisis is developing.

‘By supporting the work of Christian Aid’s partners on the ground through this urgent appeal, we can bring hope to a worsening situation. We know how generous the people of Wales have been to the people of Ukraine in their crisis. Those facing hunger in East Africa now need us to stand in solidarity with them in theirs.’

You may donate to the East Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal by visiting Christian Aid’s webpage: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/emergencies/east-africa-hunger-crisis-appeal

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