Food crisis in the Horn of Africa Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

22/08/2011

Food crisis in the Horn of Africa

Cattle herding families in northern Kenya face hunger as the pastures dry up and the animals die.Cattle herding families in northern Kenya face hunger as the pastures dry up and the animals die.

Malteser International provides food and medical aid to the people of Marsabit in Kenya

The situation in East Africa is getting more critical everyday. By now, 12 million people are in urgent need of food and water – more than half a million of them are children. In northern Kenya, one in every three children is already suffering from severe malnutrition. Each day is a struggle for survival.

The almost complete lack of rain throughout the entire last year has led to the region’s worst drought in several decades. In Marsabit District, a rural, barren region where most of the population lives from cattle herding, the pastures have dried up, the animals have died, and people have no more money to buy food. To survive, drought victims need nutritious food and medication, as their weakened bodies are more susceptible to diseases.

In the first week of August, Malteser International sent its first shipment of staple foods from Nairobi to Marsabit, where the goods are being distributed in cooperation with the diocese of Marsabit to about 17,000 people in several villages. In this first distribution phase, each registered family receives a monthly ration consisting of 12 kilograms of rice, six kilograms of beans and two litres of cooking oil.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, Malteser International will be able to help nearly three times as many people as originally planned. In September, about 43,000 people will receive food packages.

In addition, children under five years of age, pregnant women, the elderly and people with special needs will receive five kilograms per month each of Unimix, a vitamin- and protein-enriched nutritional supplement. We will also supply one hospital and three health care units in Marsabit district with medicines and medical supplies.

Malteser International has already helped the people in the Marsabit diocese in northern Kenya during previous droughts. We have been active in Kenya for ten years. Now, we are once again offering our support so that the population is not only able to overcome this terrible crisis, but also are strengthened in the long-run and better able to cope with future droughts.

Every donation, however small, helps us restore health and dignity for the people of Kenya. Support our work today!

Please donate at:  www.malteser-international.org

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