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Famine and Drought Crisis in East Africa

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On July 20th, the United Nations officially declared a famine in parts of Somalia. This is the first time in 11 years that a major famine has been declared. The last one, in 2000, was in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Here are the facts that are being reported about the current crisis:

  • Areas of East Africa, including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, are experiencing one of the worst droughts in 60 years
  • 11.3 million people in the Horn of Africa are in need of food assistance due to the drought
  • Food prices are up as much as 200% in parts of Somalia
  • > 3.7 million people need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia
  • Almost half of the population is malnourished in the southern parts of Somalia – this is the highest malnutrition rate in the world
  • According to the United States Fund for UNICEF, 2 million children are at risk of starvation in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia

As the news coverage of this crisis increases, exposing us to heart wrenching images of starving children and adults, we know many of you will want to support the relief efforts. To that end, we offer the list to the right of highly-rated charities responding. Each charity specializes in a different type of aid (food, shelter, medical, and so on), so be sure to carefully select one that matches your personal interests. You can determine the type of assistance the charity is providing by visiting its website. For your convenience, we offer a link to each charity’s website on its rating page.

We also encourage you to read our blog post where a donor shared her concerns regarding news reports indicating that aid isn’t reaching the famine victims in Africa and the charities listed here were given an opportunity to answer her question.

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