The worst drought to impact the Horn of Africa in 60 years has put an estimated 10 million people at risk of severe food shortages and famine. The Caritas network is making preparations to support those in the most need and DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is accepting donations to go towards relief in the region.
Here are some facts on the current situation and info on what Development and Peace, with Caritas Internationalis and YOUR help, are able to do to respond to food crises that have afflicted vulnerable communities.
Drought in the Horn of Africa
What is the situation in the Horn of Africa?
The Horn of Africa is currently experiencing the worst drought in the region in 60 years. According to the United Nations, there are currently 11.6 million people who are affected by this drought and in need of humanitarian assistance. The number of people affected per country is as follows:
• Ethiopia: 4.5 million people
• Kenya: 2.4 million people
• Somalia: 3.7 million people
• Djibouti: 146,600 people
Famine has been declared in two parts of Somalia and the United Nations is warning that other parts of the country may soon be in the same situation.
As a consequence, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, who are coping with food and water shortages in many communities, are experiencing a dramatic influx of refugees coming from Somalia. An estimated 1,500-2,000 Somalis are crossing the borders into Kenya and Ethiopia every day in need of aid.
The health of the populations in all affected countries is excessively precarious and children are most vulnerable. In some areas, 25% of children are suffering from malnutrition, which can have lifelong health impacts.
The situation could deteriorate further if expected rains in October and November are insufficient.
The Horn of Africa is a dry arid region that is susceptible to drought conditions. Pastoralist and nomad populations have long developed ways to cope through poor rainy seasons, however, in recent times, several factors have made it increasingly difficult for communities to pass through lean periods.
Changes in climate, conflict, rising food costs and competition over diminishing resources have all exacerbated the situation and contributed to the crisis we see today. To learn more, read our Backgrounder.
What is DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE doing?
DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE has a long history in the region, consistently responding to food crises affecting the most vulnerable communities for over 35 years. The symptoms of this crisis had already begun to reveal themselves as far back as two years ago and DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE put in place projects to respond to growing needs in Ethiopia and Somaliland, a sovereign region in Northeast Somalia, as early as 2009. These projects helped communities to gain better access to food and water. To learn more, visit this page.
Currently, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is working in collaboration with Caritas Kenya, Caritas Ethiopia and Caritas Somalia, which have all mobilized to provide aid and relief. Emergency interventions needed to save the lives and livelihoods of people, include the following:
• Supplementary food distribution to vulnerable groups, including infants, pregnant and nursing mothers, the sick and the elderly;
• Supplementary feeding for severely malnourished children;
• Food distribution to other affected people under a food for work/food for assets/vouchers system;
• Water and sanitation assistance such as providing storage facilities, drilling of boreholes for water extraction, scooping of water dams/pans, supply of fuel and generator spare parts for existing boreholes, and maintenance of broken water systems;
• Emergency medical supplies to health units;
• Managing livestock destocking (commercial sale and slaughter) and restocking, water, feed, and veterinary services;
• Seed distribution for short crops.
DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE and its Caritas partners always try to reach groups that are most vulnerable. In this case, relief interventions will aim to reach the elderly, children under 5 years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers, people living with a long term illness and refugees who have not reached camps.
DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE also expects that some long-term projects will be required to help communities re-launch their agricultural practices and to put in place preventative measures and long-term sustainable development projects so that communities can be in a better position to cope with drought conditions in the future.
Is Development and Peace providing aid in Somalia?
It is very difficult for humanitarian agencies to intervene in Somalia as the government there has forbidden most from operating in the country. Caritas Somalia is unable to operate directly in the country, however, it is intervening through traditional local partners with food distribution and it also plans to distribute tents. Although Caritas Somalia’s humanitarian interventions cannot be easily coordinated, they will continue to intervene where they can. In addition, other Caritas partners are responding in Somalia and assessing the needs of Somalis who have crossed the borders into Ethiopia and Kenya.
Are donations made to Development and Peace being matched by the government?
Yes, donations that are made by individuals to DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE between July 6th and September 16th, 2011 for the drought in the Horn of Africa will be matched by the Canadian Government. Please note that the matched funds go into a common fund that is managed by the Canadian International Development Agency. The government then distributes the funds based on proposals submitted by eligible organizations responding to the crisis, including DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE, and which meet established criteria.
What are DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE’s administrative fees?
DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE applies an administrative fee of 15% against donations made by the Canadian public for emergencies. This is needed to cover associated financial and administrative costs along with the cost of developing and managing emergency relief programs. This 15% fee is divided as follows:
- 5% is needed to cover extra work generated by the emergency, such as accounting procedures, registration of donations, answering phones, fundraising, sending receipts, etc.
- 10% is allocated directly to the costs of managing emergency relief programs, employing staff, to offset operational costs, for travel, communications, etc.
How can I donate?