Horn of Africa Famine Continues

The worst famine in 60 years continues to devastate huge areas of Africa. Yet, with everything else that is currently gripping the world, the crisis is receiving little media attention.

“Too many countries have not woken up to the scale of East Africa’s drought”, the UK’s International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, told the BBC. Mr Mitchell called on other nations to bolster a United Nations appeal for $2.4bn (£1.45bn), which is 60% short.

The drought has devastated cattle and crops, leading to a famine declaration in two regions of Somalia. Other areas are expected to follow. Britons have donated £42 million – alongside the UK government’s £95 million – to get food, water and medicine to an estimated 12 million people.

Mitchell spoke out as planes with UK aid arrived in Somalia and convoys reached Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps, helping over two million people across the region. “British aid is getting through to thousands of families as we speak and that help will save lives. It is time for people to step up their response or risk failing thousands of men, women and children who are in need of our help.”

Aid flights landed in Somalia’s Mogadishu and Baidoa airports, and lorry convoys have reached Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp and the Dolo Ado camp in Ethiopia, according to the Department for International Development. Thousands of people in Kenyan refugee camps have now received crucial basic supplies such as tents and cooking equipment, as well as medical equipment and safe drinking water.

As ever in these efforts, not all aid makes it to those most in need: corruption remains a serious problem. Reports continue to suggest that the Ethiopian government is using aid as a means to force political support at home, and starving Somalians face hell on earth, waged upon them by their own people. This is one of the biggest problems with foreign aid: how do we know it is getting to the people we intend it to help? As governments in the ‘developed’ world tighten their belts as we citizens demand they do, how much aid can Africa depend on in future?

Race4Change supports famine relief, but puts its real energy behind lending a hand up, not just dispensing hand outs. The future of these regions depends on the local population’s ability to develop a nation-wide infrastructure, tasked with planning for and handling the unique challenges presented by the African environment. Alongside overseas aid, education and empowerment are the quickest ways to this goal. Give people a stake and some dignity and see the difference it can make.

We are off to Kenya later this month and will spend the month of November in the country. We’ll let you know how the famine is being reported there, and what initiatives your Race4Change donations are supporting in Africa, to develop solutions to future famines.

Support Race4Change here. Give a little, or give a lot: everything goes to Africa and it takes ten seconds to send what you can. Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

About John Glynn

John Glynn is the owner of Ferdinand Porsche Magazine and resident Race4Change media expert & blogger. John owns five classic Porsche cars and knows the Porsche scene inside out. Check out his articles on the Ferdinand Porsche Blog at www.ferdinandmagazine.com.
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