Famine and Refugee Crisis in Africa

"We were hungry and couldn't get work.
We traveled as a family but soon after we arrived my husband died, leaving me a widow and my children without a father.
I just need help — anything."

— Dainabo, a Somali 30-year-old mother of three, who arrived in the refugee camps in Kenya after walking for six days.

Immediate Help Needed in the Horn of Africa Famine Crisis

The worst humanitarian crisis in the world continues in the Horn of Africa, where more than 13 million people are struggling to survive and are in need of urgent, lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Women, children and the elderly in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti have been suffering disproportionally during this crisis.

It's estimated that more than half of these deaths have occurred in children. In southern Somalia alone, the number of children requiring treatment for acute malnutrition nearly doubled in the second half of the year.

This drought-stricken region has experienced a rainy season this fall causing flooding which has cut off the delivery of much-needed aid. And the rains have led to outbreaks of waterborne diseases, such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever — especially in weak children.     

Help CARE prevent more needless deaths; support families and communities as they access tools, resources and education they need to become more resilient; and fight poverty and hunger around the world.

Dadaab Refugee Camps: Kenya

Today, roughly 500,000 people, almost all Somalis, live as refugees in Dadaab, Kenya. The Dadaab refugee complex is made up of three camps and is considered the third largest city in Kenya. At the height of the influx of refugees into the camps, more than 80 percent of the new arrivals were women and children, who were exhausted, weak and extremely hungry from their trek. Many of these arrivals, especially the children, were on the verge of death when they reached the camps.

CARE has worked in the camps since 1992. We have been responsible for the distribution of food and water, children’s education, hygiene and sanitation programs and counseling (with a special focus on children who have suffered loss and women who have survived rape and other forms of gender-based violence).

Watch our videos to get a first-hand look at our work in the camps.

Millions at Risk in West Africa: Niger, Chad, and Mali

In the Sahel region of West Africa, a catastrophic food crisis has left nearly 13 million people at risk of hunger. The worst-affected countries are Niger, Chad and Mali, where erratic rains and an attack of pests and locusts destroyed entire harvests, leaving families with nothing to eat through this year's hungry season.

CARE is responding to this emergency by:

  • Providing cash-for-work to help families buy food and protect their assets

  • Training government nurses on prevention and management of malnutrition at the community level

  • Strengthening community cereal banks so families can buy food at reasonable prices, stocking animal feed banks and reinforcing community-based early warning systems

  • Working with women's savings and loans groups to develop alternative sources of food such as community vegetable gardens and to increase community resilience

Unless action is taken immediately, this will be a humanitarian food crisis of the largest proportions.

You gift today will help CARE save lives, end poverty and carry out life-changing programs around the world.

Together, we can help people get back on their feet during this time of crisis, and partner with women, families and communities around the world to develop long-term solutions to hunger and poverty.

When you make a tax-deductible gift to CARE today, it will help us continue to rush lifesaving aid to people in times of crisis, help people rebuild their lives and communities after disaster and continue hunger and poverty-fighting work around the world.

One of CARE's strengths in both long-term development and emergency response lies in our deep roots and connections in the communities where we work. More than 90 percent of our 11,000 staff members are from the countries where they work, helping us develop close ties to the community. At the Dadaab refugee camps, CARE has employed up to 1,600 refugees to help distribute food, make sure families have essential items like cookware and blankets and screen new arrivals for sensitive issues, such as gender-based violence. That way, we help people earn a living while they get back on their feet!

Learn more about our work in the Horn of Africa and other regions of the world.

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