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East Africa Food Crisis

More than 20 million people in East Africa are facing possible famine. Families in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are currently being pushed to the brink of starvation– leaving them with no place to turn. Drought and violent conflict have contributed to the severe food shortages and have left millions living in desperate conditions. Hunger is causing many families to flee to neighboring countries and malnutrition levels are on the rise - 850,000 children under five will be classified as malnourished in 2017 (UNICEF).

International Relief Teams is working with partner organization, Concern Worldwide, to provide emergency assistance to displaced families in Somalia who are in desperate need. Over six and one-half million people, more than half the country’s population, are in need of urgent food assistance. Since November, nearly 740,000 people have been displaced by drought, including 296,000 children. Major outbreaks of cholera and diarrhea are spreading, and the number of acutely malnourished children is rising.

We are currently supporting 150 displaced families in Somalia with emergency cash. With these funds, families can purchase the food they desperately need. Local markets are still functioning in Somalia and the emergency cash allows families to eat, and provides them with a sense of normalcy when they have lost everything else. Also, the emergency cash stimulates the local economy, and keeps families from having to sell their few possessions.

Abdullahi* with his son, Abhsir* (4), at a nutrition center run by IRT partner organization Concern Worldwide in Mogadishu, Somalia. Credit: Concern Worldwide
Bilan in Somalia’s Gabiley region, has received an emergency cash transfer. Credit: Concern Worldwide

* Names have been changed for security reasons 

Population below poverty line:
Total Expenditure on health per capita:
Under five mortality rate:
Physicians Density:
.03 physicians/1,000 people
Life Expectancy:
52.4 years
School Life Expectancy:
Literacy Rate:
GDP per capita:
Children Under the age of 5 years underweight:
Unemployment rate:
% without health insurance:
% of persons living in poverty:
% of high school graduates:
Median household income:

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