Act for Peace launches Horn of Africa Drought Emergency Appeal
Severe food shortages as a result of drought and ongoing conflict in the Horn of Africa have left millions of people on the brink of starvation and help is urgently needed, says Alistair Gee, Executive Director of Act for Peace.
The complete failure of rains in October to December last year and late, erratic rains this year have led to harvest failure, skyrocketing food prices, a decrease in water availability and livestock losses in many parts of the country.
Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, is responding with emergency assistance in the region by distributing water and food packages, improving existing water supplies and providing emergency cattle feed.
Around 1,300 refugees from Somalia are arriving at the Dadaab camp on the Kenya–Somalia border each day, and resources are severely strained.
Some new arrivals have travelled as far as 1,000 kilometres on foot and many suffer from severe malnutrition.
One Act for Peace project partner received an urgent text message from the field: “The old men tell us that they collect the dead animals near the village and burn them to avoid diseases. One added, ‘In a month or so you can collect us.’”
Mr Gee said, “The situation in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia is of grave concern and is worsening daily. More than 10 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Somalia is the least peaceful country on earth and many Somali communities have had their ability to cope destroyed.
“We are especially concerned about the long-term impact of this drought in causing further instability to countries that are already devastated by decades of conflict,” said Mr Gee. “Act for Peace is committed to long-term engagement to improve food security and address issues of protracted conflict.”
Act for Peace has supported weapons reduction and poverty alleviation programs in the region for decades.
In Somalia, Act for Peace supports programs clearing thousands of weapons, landmines and other unexploded bombs. In Ethiopia, where up to 20 per cent of rural people are reliant on international food relief to survive, Act for Peace’s partners have been working to improve agricultural skills and sanitation in order to build resilience and break the cycle of extreme poverty.
“Many of the people of the Horn of Africa have survived decades of armed conflict to now be hit by the worst drought in 60 years,” said Mr Gee. “Please keep them in your prayers, and give as generously as you are able to Act for Peace’s emergency appeal.”
To give to Act for Peace’s Horn of Africa Drought Emergency Appeal, visit the website or free call 1800 025 101.