In March of 2017, the UN declared that because of the droughts, hunger crises and famine happening today, the world is currently facing its worst humanitarian crisis since 1945. Millions of children are at risk of hunger across Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Drought and brutal conflict mean millions of children are at imminent risk of starvation.
In 2011, the world watched as 250,000 people died from famine in Somalia. Together, we promised we would never let this happen again.
Today, we’re poised on the edge of a significantly larger tragedy. Save the Children’s teams are on the ground, working across the six affected countries to tackle the worst effects of the famine, droughts and food shortages.
In the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia), 14.5 million people are food insecure. 15 million people will not have access to safe drinking water in 2017, and 6 million children’s education is disrupted by drought, economic shocks and conflict. As well as malnutrition screening and treatment programs, Save the Children is running school feeding programs, providing opportunities for access to education, and treating disease outbreaks.
In South Sudan, 4.9 million people – 42% of the population – lack access to enough food, and this number is only projected to increase. It is the worst food insecurity crisis the country has seen since its independence was declared in 2011. Over one million children are now malnourished and are at risk of starvation and famine has been declared in parts of the country. In addition to the screening for and treatment of malnutrition, Save the Children is running Child Friendly Spaces and Infant and Young Child Feeding Centres, to ensure mothers and their babies understand the importance of nutrition and breast feeding.
In Nigeria, more than one million children have been forced from their homes and schools due to seven years of insurgency and violence. This desperate search for safety has led to hunger and diseases in overcrowded camps and overstretched communities. 500,000 children are at risk of Severe Acute Malnutrition. In the northeast of the country, at least 400,000 people could be experiencing famine-like conditions. 3.2 million children need access to education, and millions of children and their families have had to flee their homes. Save the Children is offering therapeutic feeding and screening for malnutrition, Child Friendly Spaces, and access to education.
In Yemen, two years of war have caused economic collapse and severe restrictions on shipping has left 17.1 million people food insecure. 2.2 million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, and 462,000 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Approximately 2 million children have no access to education and the healthcare system is severely disabled. Save the Children is running Child Friendly Spaces, supporting the healthcare system and offering mobile health clinics, and providing water storage and water filtration.