Monday 20 February 2017 marked the declaration of famine in South Sudan, the first country to declare famine in over six years. The last country to have been affected by a famine, six years before, was Somalia. In 2011, Somalia faced a famine that led to over 260,000 people losing their lives.
All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain met quickly and decided to launch an appeal to respond as soon as possible in South Sudan but also to help avert famine in other countries like Somalia that were identified by the United Nations to be on the verge of disaster.
November 2017 update
While the threat of famine in Somalia is still high, with an estimated 388,000 children still acutely malnourished, many lives are being saved.
Little Ahmed* was sick for over four months before his family received proper medical help. They are a family living in a rural area of Somalia without easy access to health care. When Ahmed became very ill his mother decided to travel into a town to get help.
When Ahmed’s mother took him to a clinic he was admitted into a nutrition programme where he received a high energy peanut paste to help aid in his recovery. Some of the money given to All We Can’s East Africa Famine Appeal has enabled children like Ahmed to receive this life-saving assistance. Following his treatment programme Ahmed gained weight and his mother was given advice and support to aid his recovery further when he went back home. When volunteers visited Ahmed a few weeks after his discharge from the clinic his mother could not contain her joy at his progress.
All We Can continues to support its humanitarian aid partners in Somalia, and other countries facing famine, across East Africa.
July 2017 update
Food being distributed to some of the most vulnerable individuals in Somalia including, pictured here, people living with disabilities who struggle to access adequate provisions during disasters.
May 2017 update
The United Nations say the world is facing one of the biggest humanitarian disasters since World War II. Somalia is one of a number of countries that has been flagged as being extremely vulnerable to the threat of famine.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters All We Can has started responding to the immediate and urgent needs in the country through its experienced humanitarian aid partners in the region. These partners are focused on responding through the provision of nutritional treatment. So far over £90,000 has allocated to our work in Somalia.
Ayan and Adan’s story
When Ayan arrived at a health clinic supported by one of All We Can’s partners in Somalia she looked tired and dejected. She was holding her son Adan (pictured here) in her arms.
When her little boy first became sick Ayan had hoped prayers would heal him, but he continued to get weaker. One of Ayan’s relatives told her about the clinic and informed her they would be able to help her son at no cost.
Ayan travelled for seven hours from her village to reach the clinic. She said, “I was warmly welcomed. The nurse asked about my child’s illness and I told her that Adan was sick as he had not been eating well”.
After two months of nutrition treatment her son was able to return home.
Yet in their village, there was little food or water for them, and soon Adan was ill again. They travelled back to the clinic, and when he recovered, Ayan decided to move to a nearby displacement camp instead of returning home. “I prefer to live in the camp,” she said. “In my village, there is no food or water, but in the camp you only have to worry about food.”
Ayan is thankful for all the help she has received for her child. At the camp, she occasionally finds work at a local market to earn money to help feed her family but the road ahead will not be easy for them, or for so many others in Somalia.
One of All We Can’s international humanitarian aid partners in Somalia, Medair, is working in South Central Somalia to provide families like Ayan’s with nutrition and health support.
Pray for Somalia
Drought affected families. The primary driver of food insecurity in Somalia is drought. In the past year crops have failed leaving people with nothing to eat.
That nutritional treatment and assistance will reach those who need it most.
For All We Can’s humanitarian aid partners and their staff who are working in difficult and unstable conditions.
That the international community will continue to provide the immediate assistance and longer-term support needed by the people of Somalia and that famine will be averted.
To give online to the East Africa Famine Appeal and to continue to help people living in communities in countries including Somalia visit www.awcdev.us/famine
*Names changed to protect identities