The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched an emergency East Africa Crisis Appeal which raised over £50m in three weeks.
Sixteen million people are on the brink of starvation in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan where 5 million people urgently need food. In Somalia alone, over 360,000 children under 5 are extremely malnourished.
The DEC is made up of 13 of the UK’s leading charities including CAFOD, Christian Aid and Tearfund. The UK government has matched pound for pound £10m donated by the public to the DEC appeal.
A Christian Aid spokesperson told Premier Christianity, “It’s been brilliant to see churches all over the country responding so generously to the desperate call for help from East Africa. At Christian Aid we often talk about ‘give, act and pray’. Please remember the people of East Africa in your prayers, their need will remain once the spotlight of media attention has moved on.”
Access constraints due to conflict in South Sudan and Al-Shabaab controlled areas in Somalia have delayed the attempts of aid agencies to deliver support to communities affected by the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945. The charities are distributing seeds and farming tools for long-term sustainability, school meals for children and food vouchers for families to meet the short-term need.
Two years of conflict in the Yemen has led to half of the country’s population not knowing where their next meal will come from. Child malnutrition and deaths from preventable diseases are at an all-time high. As of March 2017, the UN’s appeal for $2.1bn (£1.7bn) to allow it to assist 12 million people in Yemen was only seven per cent funded.