Just imagine for a moment not being able to access any food, day after day. You cannot simply go down the street and buy some. There are just not enough supplies available in your area. If there is some food available, it is so high priced you simply cannot afford it.
You are forced therefore to flee your home community in the search for food, if you or your family can make the journey with limited means.
This is just what is happening in the Horn of Africa which includes Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda. A severe drought has struck the region, the worst in 60 years.
The low rainfall meant farmers could not grow food. Their livestock perished from the lack of food and water. These are already impoverished communities suffering one of the worst of nature’s shocks.
Children in the Horn of Africa are suffering from dangerous levels of malnutrition. There are over 9 million people who need food aid.
The charity Save the Children reports, “More than a quarter of children in the worst-hit parts of Kenya are now dangerously malnourished, and in Somalia malnutrition rates have reached 30 percent in some areas, making the Horn of Africa one of the hungriest places on earth.”
Aid agencies need support to save lives and prevent future disasters like this one. Josette Sheeran, the director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), says, “It is essential that we move quickly to break the destructive cycle of drought and hunger that forces farmers to sell their means of production as part of their survival strategy.”
Drought is not the only scourge facing the Horn of Africa. Sheeran warns, “Conflict in Somalia continues to force civilians from their homes, and around 10,000 are arriving each week at crowded Kenyan refugee camps. The number of malnourished children receiving supplementary or therapeutic feeding in the camps has already tripled in 2011 – a clear sign of the seriousness of the problem and the need for swift international action across the whole region.”
Aid is clearly desperately needed. So too is development and peacebuilding for the region so it can better withstand the shocks of nature. There has to be an end to conflict and hunger in Somalia, a road to peace built by the Somali people.
What can you do to help? Please consider feeding a silent guest today….one of the starving children in the Horn of Africa.
If everyone would take at least one silent guest into their home, millions of lives could be saved in the Horn of Africa. Children could be spared the dangerous scourge of malnutrition, which can damage them physically and mentally for a lifetime.
The World Food Programme and Save the Children each have appeals set up where you can donate the cost of feeding a silent guest, or multiple guests, at your next meal.
These organizations have set up fund drives for the Horn of Africa:
Save the Children: Child Hunger Crisis Fund
World Food Programme: Save Lives in Drought Stricken East Africa appeal
Video: William Lambers provides links to where you can help the hungry in the Horn of Africa. He also discusses the history of Silent Guest Program to fight global hunger.