Famine in Africa, drought, and conflict have left record numbers of people in the Horn of Africa in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
We must act now.
On the brink of famine in Africa, communities across eastern Africa are facing hunger caused by conflict, one of the worst droughts in 40 years.
As international food and fuel prices skyrocket because of COVID-19 and the conflict in Ukraine, vulnerable families are being left behind.
Many of the most vulnerable are facing hunger and even starvation after another year of failed crops, exacerbated by the emerging famine in Africa, forcing them to slaughter or sell any remaining livestock.
The drought situation will continue to drive high humanitarian needs well into 2023, with a high likelihood of a sixth failed season.
We must act now.
Over 81.6 million people are facing high acute food insecurity across eastern Africa.
The region is facing multiple challenges at once: drought, flooding, rising food and fuel prices, COVID-19, locust plagues and ongoing conflict and displacement.
Food and fuel prices were already on the rise, but basic goods are now unaffordable for most rural families.
Displacement across the region is making the situation even harder.
"The drought has destroyed all of our crops and left us very hungry, we have nothing to eat. Before when I had my husband he could support me, but now as a widow I don’t have any support. Without Caritas, my children might have died."
Ethiopia is facing its worst drought in nearly 40 years, with an estimated 20 million people in need of urgent assistance. This is on top of one of the worst locust swarms in the past decade and ongoing conflict that has displaced thousands of vulnerable people. It is estimated that more than 4.5 million livestock have died since late 2021, and at least 30 million weakened and emaciated livestock are at risk.
Somalia is on the brink of famine, with nearly 8 million people facing extreme hunger and food insecurity. The last famine declared in Somalia, in 2011, killed a quarter of a million people. Unless urgent action is taken, Somalia may face a catastrophic humanitarian disaster.
More than 4.35 million people in Kenya are at risk of severe hunger, particularly up north in areas such as Marsabit. A national state of disaster has been declared with vulnerable communities struggling to access food and clean water.
After three years of severe drought, crops are failing and livestock dying in droves. Families who previously relied on subsistence farming are no longer able to grow enough food to eat, let alone to sell at the markets so they can afford to buy seeds for the next season.
Even in the best case scenario with above average rains over the coming months, it will take months for communities to recover and many families will continue to struggle until late 2023.
When disasters strike, the steep cost of imported emergency supplies puts some of the most marginalised people at risk. We work with our partners on the ground to get food, clean water and first aid to communities as quickly as possible.
Your generous donation today means our partners across Africa can respond quickly and efficiently to support vulnerable communities during this crisis.
Bute is a village elder living in southern Ethiopia with his wife, Burre. Bute was elected by his community members to represent their voices. They have a story they want to share with the rest of the world: they need urgent humanitarian aid now.
Before the current drought, Bute and Burre had 2,000 livestock in two stables, including donkeys, goats and cows. The grass was green and there were plenty of pasture for their livestock. They used to harvest sorghum and maize, with enough water from the nearby river to irrigate their crops.
“We used to have lots of milk and meat to eat, and now we have almost nothing. We feel very sad and frustrated. The life we used to live and enjoy is completely gone,” Bute said.
During the last three years, rainfall in this area of southern Ethiopia has been erratic, with long periods without any rain. This meant that farmers and pastoralists are unable to grow any crops or feed their livestock.
Bute and Burre’s seven adult children have left in search of food and it has been more than a year since they last saw them.
With your support, Caritas Australia is working with Caritas Ethiopia to provide urgent food and emergency water to drought-affected communities.
“We pray and hope for rain. We appeal for people to give us food because here there is continuous drought, we can’t farm, there is no rain. We have no other chance except for this help.”
Join the Help Fight Famine campaign and call on the Australian government to act now. Write to your local MP and ask that the government commit $150 million to help avert catastrophe in the worst-affected hunger hotspots in the Horn of Africa, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria.
Your donation can help provide urgent aid and assistance to vulnerable communities affected by the food crisis. Your support can provide life-saving essentials, such as food rations, clean water and emergency cash.
The funds raised through this appeal will be used to provide immediate and longer-term humanitarian assistance to communities affected by crises across the horn of Africa.
Where this is not possible, the funds will be used to provide immediate and longer-term development and humanitarian assistance to communities affected by crises in Africa. If any excess funds remain after a crisis, or if there are changes in circumstances beyond our control that limit our ability to use the funds, they are kept in the Emergency Response Fund so that we can respond to ongoing development needs and future crises across all our regions.
As a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), Caritas Australia is committed and fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting our work with transparency, accountability and integrity. Find out more about ACFID Code of Conduct for Emergency Appeals.