Over 10 million people are in urgent need of aid and their lives are at risk if food and water do not arrive soon. The failure of the annual rains last year has triggered the emergency in East Africa, but it has been developing over recent years with poor or no rainfall. Although some rains have now been reported, there are concerns these may worsen the situation by causing the spread of disease.In one of the worst affected countries, Kenya, the President has declared the famine a ‘national disaster’ – 3.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation. In Malawi, the rains were as normal until January 2005, when they stopped three months early, severely damaging crops.
Y Care International is supporting the relief efforts of YMCAs in the region, and the work of members of the global alliance ACT International in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Malawi.Donations to the appeal will go towards urgent food aid and other relief work. This will help save lives where malnutrition is becoming severe and will help people survive day-to-day.Y Care International’s partners will address the immediate food and water needs of the worst affected communities by distributing food, water tankering for domestic and livestock use, as well as drilling and repairing boreholes.
Assistance is also needed for more long-term needs, like restocking farmers’ cattle and seed stock in preparation for the next crop season.As well as emergency food distribution, YMCAs in the region are providing a health centre and income generating activities, as well as planning education to give people the skills to cope with drought in the future.