Update: Plan's response to drought in East Africa
Plan's response has so far reached a half million people
A humanitarian crisis affecting some 10 million people is unfolding in eastern and southern parts of the Horn of Africa. Failed rains, local and global price increases for food and fuel, underdevelopment and conflict in Somalia have combined to create a threatening situation affecting access to the most basic levels of food and water.
Most affected communities face serious humanitarian challenges following poor harvests and death or weakening of livestock due to lack of pasture and water. The number of people affected and needing help is likely to increase further as food stocks run out at the start of the lean season. High prices and low food availability may extend the area of impact, including into the region’s urban centers. An estimated 10.7 million people, including more than 778,600 refugees, are in need of assistance.
Plan is working with affected families, officials and other humanitarian agencies in Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan to avert a full-scale crisis. Response work includes water trucking, as well as providing nutritious food for young children, mothers and pregnant women, delivering school meals, and distributing seeds, livestock and fertilizers. Ongoing emergency efforts also include supplementary feeding and livelihood support.
In addition to providing immediate aid, Plan will focus resources on child protection efforts, as traditional coping strategies often leave children particularly vulnerable during times of crisis. Emergencies like droughts can quickly disrupt children’s sense of routine and safety. In areas where schools often function as supplementary feeding centers, food is running out and parents are pulling children out of school. They are also less likely to send children to school if they are struggling with food, costs of schooling, or displacement. Such deteriorating conditions put children at increased risk of being subject to child labor, early marriage, and trafficking. Girls and young women can be particularly at risk.
In Kenya, Plan has launched a $15 million appeal for aid for children and families affected by the drought. Current emergency programs are targeting approximately 114,000 people and include water, medicine, therapeutic feeding programs, supplementary feeding at 414 schools, shelter and hygiene promotion, underway in the Plan program areas of Tharaka, Machakos, Kilifi and Kwale, as well as Samburu and Kitui counties.
Plan is also currently reaching 200,000 people with emergency aid in Ethiopia, although this figure is expected to increase to up to one million people in the coming months. The primary needs of people in the affected areas include immediate food assistance, emergency health care, acute malnutrition intervention, water and sanitation, and disease control, with funding requirements totaling approximately $16 million. In addition, Plan has already deployed livelihood support to 1,300 households, school feeding in Addis Ababa to 4,275 children, and water and sanitation in West Arsi Zone to 18,000 people.
Despite insecurity due to internal conflicts in many affected areas of South Sudan, Plan is responding to immediate food and water needs of 125,000 South Sudanese as well, working with the World Food Programme to support children with nutritious food so they can continue their education. More than 40,490 children from 76 schools are benefiting from the food program, which will expand to reach 150,000 students in the coming days and weeks.
Information for sponsors
At this time, there is no information available about how many sponsored children have been affected. We will contact sponsors directly if we receive any news about individual sponsored children.
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