Once again, famine stalks the land in East Africa. There is a gathering and worsening food emergency, originating in a 2-year drought, and made much worse in some countries by vicious armed conflict. Sober estimates put 22 million people at risk, and the deaths have already started, particularly amongst the young, the vulnerable and the displaced. The countries most affected are South Sudan (where famine has already been declared), Somalia, parts of Ethiopia and Kenya, Yemen, and even as far away as Nigeria. This has the potential to be the biggest humanitarian disaster since 1945. Early intervention is absolutely critical.
Members have been contacting us to know what we are going to do, and reputable Irish agencies have appealed to us. We do not have significant cash reserves at this time, but we are nonetheless committing €20,000 to this cause. This will cause delays with our normal approved development funding, but we have no real choice. We cannot turn our back and say “not our problem” – our heritage and roots in the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s will not allow us to do so.
We are today (22.03.2017) committing the following funds:
Plan Ireland Somalia/Sudan/Kenya €5,000
Concern Somalia / South Sudan €5,000
Trócaire Somalia / South Sudan €5,000
Christian Aid Kenya/Ethiopia/South Sudan/Somalia €5,000
We are keeping the overall situation under close observation but we are not launching a Special Appeal at this time – but this may change. We know that we are in danger of wearing out our welcome with our members and supporters, but we also have every confidence that the entire ElectricAid community – members, supporters, staff, pensioners and company – will step up to the plate once more, if they are asked. Watch this space!
Sacdiyo Mohamed, 9 months old and now recovering in a nutrition centre after her mother fled the southern area of Somalia due to the drought.