Red Cross services leave Horn of Africa stronger after drought

Topics: Africa, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
September 05, 2012

Red Cross services leave Horn of Africa stronger after drought

A devastating drought in 2011 left countries like Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Tanzania, and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa exposed to famine and disease, but with the help of National Societies like the Canadian Red Cross, affected communities have the chance to hope for a better tomorrow.

Since 2011, the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa has affected more than 13 million people, leaving many without shelter and basic necessities. In many countries already impacted by years of armed conflict, the drought dealt an unexpected yet crippling blow, causing acute shortages of food and water. For those residing in pastoral communities, the drought threatened not only their livestock, but their way of life.

Immediately following the disaster, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement leapt into action.

In Somalia alone, more than 160,000 citizens received aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Approximately 3,000 tonnes of food were distributed in regions including Gedo, Lower Juba, Middle Juba, Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle and Mogadishu during the early months of 2011. Rice, beans and cooking oil were among the items handed out to vulnerable families in need and were expected to last up to a month.

However, food distribution formed only one part of the organization's overall response to the emergency. Infrastructure projects and seed distribution are a few of the long-reaching plans offered by the ICRC to improve life in Somalia after the drought.

All of these vital measures were made possible through the support of Canadians just like you. By July 2012, the Red Cross received over $14 million in donations for Horn of Africa relief programs. 

While this generous amount has helped alleviate the worst aspects of the crisis, more work is needed throughout the Horn of Africa to address the root causes that allowed the situation to spiral out of control. From agricultural education programs to modern farming and irrigation improvements, the Canadian Red Cross strives to leave the Horn of Africa better equipped to handle future emergencies.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of those in need, consider making a donation to the International Programs Fund or call 1-800-418-1111.