“Drought is an act of nature.

Famine is man made disaster”

Today in East Africa, in a region known as the Horn, more than 13  million people are in crisis with children being particularly affected.

The worst drought the world has seen in 60 years is devastating farmlands, uprooting families and killing tens of thousands in four countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia.

30 000 children have died in three months in the Horn of Africa

Drought, conflict and famine are forcing people from their homes in search of food and water.  Nearly 700,000 Somalis have fled ,many walking over 160 km to refugee camps, in search of food and water.

Nearly half of the children arriving at the camps in Kenya and Ethiopia are acutely malnourished; all are in need of emergency assistance.

Drought does not have to lead to famine. Conditions in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are expected to improve with continued assistance and a good rainy season between now and December.

In stark contrast, the crisis in Somalia is especially dire. Decades of inter-tribal and inter-clan war, instability and conflict have led to an outbreak of famine. Unless more humanitarian aid is allowed into southern Somalia, 750,000 people will die there in the coming months.

Famine: A famine occurs when more than three in 10 children are acutely malnourished, when more than two and when one in five people are unable to access basic foods.

The United Nations officially declared famine in Somalia on 20 July  2011. Famine is now prevalent in six areas of southern Somalia, which is controlled by violent militant groups that are blocking aid worker access and life-saving assistance.

War: Twenty ungoverned years have left the Somali people facing a daily reality of insecurity and conflict.

This historic drought has pushed them beyond their capacity to cope, as degradation of agricultural and pastoral livelihoods, high food prices, violence, and control of resources by armed groups prevent millions from obtaining sufficient food and clean water.

Even before the drought, over half a million Somalis had been living in refugee camps in the Horn, including in Kenya, where the world’s largest refugee camp has been expanding over the past 20 years.

Drought: A severe and extended dry season across the Horn of Africa has withered crops, killed livestock and robbed farmers of any economic opportunity. Agriculture is the main source of income for most in the region, so when a harvest fails or a cow dies, families are left with too little to eat and no way to earn a living.

With 30 000 children having died in the past 3 months, the world can no longer just watch the disaster unfold. The “One” campaign is asking for support in getting world leaders to take action.

Sign their petition here  and make a difference to those who are unable to help themselves.

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