18 July 2011
With more than 10 million people struggling to get enough food in East Africa, the Red Cross is providing food, water and healthcare to the most affected communities.
UN estimates suggest that 2.85 million people in Somalia – 32 per cent of the population – require humanitarian aid. In drought-afflicted regions of Kenya, between 3m to 3.5m people have been severely affected.
In Somalia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is responding to the severe drought by providing healthcare, food and water.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing emergency food rations, water, seeds and tools. The British Red Cross has given £750,000 to the ICRC appeal; this will provide 8,225 families with a one-month ration of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil.
The Somali Red Crescent Society has deployed 14 mobile health teams, providing health services to remote communities suffering from drought in Somaliland and Puntland.
Static health clinics are also helping thousands of people and have expanded their work to include nutrition services and food for pregnant and breast-feeding women, and children under five.
During the first quarter of 2011, 150,000 people accessed Federation and Somali Red Crescent water and sanitation programmes in Somaliland and Puntland.
In Kenya, the Red Cross has rehabilitated nine boreholes benefitting more than 85,500 people and 253,500 livestock. It has also trucked in water, reaching around 285,800 people in nine districts: Garissa, Mandera, Moyale, Marsabit, East Pokot, Ijara, Lamu, Kwale and Tana River.
To help inject cash into struggling local economies, the Red Cross has bought livestock from some 3,000 community members. It is also distributing the meat to 29,000 of the most vulnerable members of the community.
Over the coming months, the Red Cross plans to help 855,000 people severely affected by the drought by:
- providing 15 litres of clean water per person every day
- supporting feeding in schools in nine districts, reaching 20,000 children
- distributing food and clean water in Turkana, one of the worst affected districts
- providing 12 greenhouses and 50 tonnes of drought-tolerant seeds to 25,000 farmers
- supporting Ministry of Health in providing healthcare services to people in remote or rural areas
- developing communities’ abilities to cope with future droughts through long term recovery initiatives.
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