accessibility & help

How we helped


In Kenya, the 2011 crisis left many communities affected by food insecurity and high rates of acute malnutrition. The situation in the country was made worse by killings over livestock, regional conflict and security issues.

To provide relief from the crisis, the Kenya Red Cross supplied food and water to hundreds of thousands of people. In particular, it supported feeding programmes for schoolchildren, encouraging them to stay in education. As well as promoting health and sanitation, it also provided healthcare for vulnerable and malnourished people.

When the rains finally came in Kenya, they improved the situation in some areas, but they also caused flooding, damaged crops and displaced people from their homes. The Kenya Red Cross supported people after the flooding, and also provided emergency health interventions when outbreaks of polio, cholera and measles took place.

As well as short-term relief work, the Kenya Red Cross also helped people improve their livelihoods by providing farmers with drought-resistant seeds, giving greenhouses to schools and farming communities, and training farmers in ways to increase their crop.

In Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, where many Somalis fleeing the famine in 2011 ended up, the Kenya Red Cross continues to provide services. Find out how we’re helping in Dadaab.

Somali woman in health centre© InfoSomalia

Between July and August 2011, five regions of Somalia faced famine, and people in many other parts of the country were also severely affected by food shortages. Through theInternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent, British Red Cross funds reached areas of Somalia that were off-limits to many other agencies. In 2011 the ICRC:

  • distributed food to over 1.2 million people in Somalia
  • treated 170,000 children for malnutrition
  • helped up to 900,000 people access safe water
  • treated almost 6,000 people wounded by weapons
  • provided healthcare for more than 725,000 people
  • collected or distributed over 24,700 messages to people from their family
  • enabled almost 38,000 phone calls to be made from Somalis in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

It also helped up to 750,000 people improve their livelihoods by:

  • giving farmers seeds, tools, fertilizers and pumps
  • providing sandbags and building dikes to protect farmland from flooding
  • supplying irrigation pumps and upgrading sluice gates to improve irrigation
  • giving fishermen equipment and training
  • employing people in cash-for-work projects
  • giving vulnerable single mothers grants to set up small businesses – such as tea kiosks, sewing services, bakeries and milling services – so they can provide for their families.

Over a million Somali refugees are living in countries neighbouring Somalia – the Red Cross continues to work with refugees.

Hassan in bare field, Ethiopia© InfoEthiopia

The Ethiopian Red Cross Society, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other Red Cross National Societies, has been running food security and drought response operations for a number of years.

In response to the 2011 food crisis, the Ethiopian Red Cross – with support from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – distributed food, water and other items, and provided water, sanitation and healthcare.

The East Africa Food Crisis Appeal is now closed. Help us respond to future crises by donating to our Disaster Fund.

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Updated October 2012


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