East Africa food crisis: A catastrophe of this magnitude means that every response matters

Press Release Image1More than 10 million people in EastAfrica and Yemen are facing starvation and famine: "Withoutcollective and coordinated global efforts, people will simplystarve to death. Many more will suffer and die fromdisease,"said Stephen O'Brien, UN Humanitarian chief at ameeting of the UN Security Council last Friday.

All We Can and the World Church Relationships Team ofthe Methodist Church in Britain are urgently calling for individualand local community support to respond to famine in South Sudan andto avert famine and further death in other countries across EastAfrica and the wider region including Somalia andYemen.

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Ongoing food crises have pushed many countries to the brink ofcatastrophe with millions facing malnutrition, illness and death. Amonth ago it was announced that South Sudan had already reached atipping point with two counties being declared as officiallyaffected by famine. Since then, Somalia, northern Nigeriaand Yemen have been categorised as being on the brink of famine,with other countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi and Ugandafacing severe food insecurity.

Droughts and unpredictable rainfall, protracted civil conflictsand entrenched economic crises, have led to widespread foodinsecurity across East Africa and people are already dying.

"We stand at a critical point in history. Already at thebeginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisissince the creation of the United Nations," reported UN humanitarianchief Stephen O'Brien.

The Methodist Church in Britain is urging people torespond quickly, generously and collectively to thiscatastrophicsituation by supporting the appeal being managed by All WeCan.

Graeme Hodge, Deputy CEO of All We Can stated, "The acts ofcompassion expressed in the individual donations of many UKcitizens and the collective fundraising efforts by community andchurch groups around the UK are nothing short of inspiring. Everyday, we hear more stories of people who are responding to thedesperate need of their fellow human beings, our global neighbours.We need this collective response to continue and grow to preventthe deaths of millions of children and their families. We need toensure people across East Africa get the support they need tosurvive and recover. If you think that your individual responsewill not make a difference, think again. A catastrophe of thismagnitude means that every response matters."

In 2011, Somalia faced a famine that led to over 260,000 peoplelosing their lives. All We Can is responding to the direcircumstances across the region, starting with South Sudan,Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia and Yemen in alliance with itsexperienced humanitarian aid partners working locally in eachcountry.

All We Can's Humanitarian Aid Manager Jason Snuggs said, "Thissituation is incredibly serious, it is not one we can ignore. Weneed supporters to give generously and without delay, as we respondto the needs in this vast region and help towards averting faminein other countries across East Africa on the verge ofdisaster."

Gifts to this emergency appeal will enable All We Canand its partners to respond quickly to those in greatest needacross the region.

To support the East Africa Famine Appeal go to www.allwecan.org.uk/famine