Charity groups unite to tackle hunger and famine in the Horn of Africa
PeterHermesFurian/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Eight U.S.-based international relief groups have joined forces to desperately urge the public to donate to a new relief fund aimed at addressing looming famine and hunger in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and neighboring nations.
“In the 21st century, innocent children should not be dying from hunger. People caught in this crisis are generously opening their homes and sharing what little they have, but they have run out of time and resources — they need our help now,” said the groups making up the Global Emergency Response Coalition in a news release Monday.
On Monday, the coalition — made up of CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision — announced its Hunger Relief Fund. The groups said the coalition was the first of its kind.
The Global Emergency Response Coalition said that its groups were working in 106 nations and that donations made to the fund would “help those already going hungry and on the brink of famine survive and lay the groundwork for recovery.”
Its partners, which are helping to bring awareness and money to the effort, include Google, Twitter and Visa.
Recently, ABC News anchor David Muir and his team traveled with Save the Children as it traveled to the deserts of Somaliland to identify children suffering from malnutrition.
Carolyn Miles, the CEO of Save the Children, told Muir the malnutrition crisis was one of the worst she’d seen since World War II.
“I don’t think the world has really woken up to this disaster at this point. They haven’t realized what’s happening — the possibility of four famines at once,” she said.
More than 20 million people are at risk of starvation, the coalition said. The groups also said that without immediate help, 1.4 million severely malnourished children could die.
According to the Global Response Coalition, $10 can get:
1. A month’s worth of water for a child at school.
2. Basic health services for a child in Somalia.
3. One week’s worth of highly nutritious peanut paste for a malnourished child. (Brand name: Plumpy’Nut)
Save the Children said that $2 in Somalia can provide a child with water at school for one month; $23 in Ethiopia can provide one child with lunch at school for a month; and $5 in South Sudan can buy medicine to treat 10 children suffering from malaria.
Dr. Yusef Ali, the regional director of health in Somaliland, told Muir during his visit to the region that the country was on the verge of famine.
“We’re seeing it [famine],” Ali said. “It’s here. … We are losing them [children]. There are so many unreported cases. We are losing them.”
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