Lives are being lost every day. More than 20 million people are at risk of starvation because of a severe drought and food crisis. We need to act now. According to the UN, this is the largest humanitarian crisis since the UN was created in 1945.
Where in Africa?
Plan International staff is working in South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Uganda to provide urgent food supplies and lifesaving humanitarian support to hungry children and families.
Our work includes distributing nutritious food to save lives, but it doesn’t end there. We also:
- Ensure those most at risk, like malnourished children under 5 and pregnant women, secure the emergency resources they need
- Help protect the wellbeing of children, particularly adolescent girls, who are most vulnerable during crises; this includes offering psycho-social support services
- Provide farmers with agricultural assistance
- Support supplementary feeding programs.
Click on a country to see some examples of how your donations are helping children and families survive this famine.
Situation: 4.9 million people are in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance. Severe malnutrition remains a major public health emergency. 1 out of every 4 pregnant and breastfeeding women is malnourished.
Impact: More than 20,000 people have been reached through food distribution, agricultural assistance, and school feeding programs that help to reintegrate students back into the classroom.
Situation: 2.7 million people are affected by severe drought and more than 328,000 children are severely malnourished.
Impact: We’ve reached over 10,000 boys and girls and 2,600 families in Kenya with support: trucking in clean water, making boreholes accessible and distributing food through school feeding programs in 94 schools.
Situation: 9.2 million people need support to access safe drinking water. The drought has also impacted children’s right to education. At least 442 schools have already been closed and 334 more may be closed in the coming weeks.
Impact: We’ve reached over 110,000 people through activities like supplementary food distribution for malnourished children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, constructing accessible water sites and reuniting children separated from their families.
Situation: The ongoing conflict situation in Nigeria continues to make it difficult for families to find food, stay together and keep their children healthy. Grave human rights abuses are widespread under the Boko Haram insurgency and children are in need of support and safe spaces that help them recover from the violence they have witnessed.
Impact: We have reached more than 7,000 children through Child Friendly Space activities, with psychosocial support that included structured play and recreation, information sessions on health and hygiene and one-on-one sessions with case workers.
Situation: It’s estimated that less than half of Nigeriens have access to water. A mere 3.2 percent of the population has sanitary toilets. Children continue to be exposed to the risks of abuse, neglect, exploitation and recruitment by armed groups. 151 schools have closed, impacting an estimated 72,000 children.
Impact: Plan International has constructed and equipped emergency classrooms, built latrines and established water tanks and washing posts. Accelerated learning programs for children and vocational training for youth have been established so children who have been forced to leave their homes don’t permanently end their education.
Situation: 33.6% of the population in the northern region of the country needs emergency food assistance. 40% of the population lives with chronic malnutrition and 11% of children under 5, in the northern region suffer from severe malnutrition.
Impact: More than 54,000 people have been reached through general food aid programming. 20,000 children have received learning materials, and 2,500 children in refugee settlements received accelerated preparation for the start of the school year.
Situation: : Uganda currently hosts over 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers. Children under 18 make up over 50% of the population and over 80% of the population are women and children. A continued economic crisis has threatened food security. Over 70% of children are suffering from severe malnutrition and there are inadequate supplies for nutritional rehabilitation.
Impact: Over 2,000 children have been reached through feeding programs; many pregnant and breastfeeding women have also been identified and enrolled in the nutrition program. Over 1,800 children under five have been enrolled in the nutrition centers in Bidibidi refugee camp for nutritional rehabilitation.
Who is most vulnerable?
Girls. In the chaos of a crisis, adolescent girls are at a higher risk of experiencing sexual violence and harassment, becoming pregnant, being pulled out of school, trafficked, or forced into an early marriage.
Girls face a particularly higher risk of early and forced marriage as families struggle to survive. Many communities see forced marriage as a way to reduce the strain of famine, as it ensures one less person to feed, and can be used to secure a dowry in the form of cash or livestock.
Your help will save lives
Spread of famine can only be prevented if humanitarian assistance is immediately scaled up and reaches the most vulnerable. Plan International has the experience and infrastructure in place to reach those affected by this devastating crisis – but we need your help to do it.
Donate before June 30th and the Government of Canada will match your donation with its Famine Relief Fund, doubling your impact! Thank you for helping us reach children and families in need.