14 million people threatened by famine

by Lina Koch,  2014/09/08

For the Somalis in the big Ethiopian refugee camps hunger is omnipresent. Three years ago, hundreds of thousands of them fled from the draught over the borders of Somalia to Ethiopia and Kenia. Away from the all-destroying hunger in their home country towards a safe harbor in the distance. The devastating famine has cost the lives of about 250,000 people. More than half of these lives had belonged to children.

Today, three years later, the fear of a famine is back again. According to information given by the United Nations, there are currently 14.4 million people who are threatened by a new famine. Amongst those are also the people living in the Ethiopian refugee camp Melkadida where, thanks to the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, humedica has run a health station since August 2011.

The reasons for this recurring danger can be quickly found: the absence of rain has resulted in bad harvests and rising food prices. Violent conflicts in several countries in East Africa have prevented the fields from being farmed and have impeded the access to food.

When fleeing from war and destruction, the elementary need of food can only rarely be appeased. What is left is hunger, which will end in the deaths of many people, if there is no help. “The situation is very alarming”, explains Matthew Conway, speaker of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) in East Africa.

The responsible humedica staff member, Linda Zimmermann returned from East Africa only a few days ago and she can confirm this statement: “The situation at the Horn of Africa is extremely disconcerting. On the roadsides you can see perished animals.

Water and food are getting ever scarcer and ever more expensive. And also at the humedica health station in the refugee camp Melkadida we feel that the situation is worsening. We note a considerable rise in patients. Many of them show clear signs of malnutrition and undernourishment.

The similarity to 2011 cannot be denied. Now, we must act quickly, in order to anticipate another catastrophe. The world must show that they have learned from the last famine.”

By supplying additional medical material and staff, humedica prepares for the potential outbreak of another famine. “If the number of week patients continues to increase, we will enlarge the medical team in our health station on short notice. At the same time, we have the advantage that our local staff members are very experienced and they know what to do in case of a worsening situation”, explains Linda Zimmermann.

For the moment, nobody in Melkadida believes any longer that the threat will disappear quickly. The current reports from Somalia and South Sudan are too alarming and the situation in the camp itself has become too critical. “Of course, we hope for the best but the situation can deteriorate drastically within a few days only and then we will face another famine”, closes Linda Zimmermann.

In order to be able to realize our aid measures in East Africa, humedica still depends on your urgent support. Please help with your directed donation to fight hunger. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Reference “Famine relief Africa”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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