East Africa Drought Crisis
Ottawa, ON (July 6, 2011) – Canadian aid agencies, under the banner of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, are urging Canadians, the Canadian Government and the media to support the urgent efforts to prevent the widespread food crisis that threatens the lives of 10 million people, mostly children, in East Africa. The region is facing its worst drought in over 60 years according to UN reports and humanitarian personnel in the region. Consecutive years of failed rains have caused devastating losses of livestock, incomes and food supplies while resulting sky-rocketing food prices are exacerbating an already precarious situation.
CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada, five of Canada’s largest relief agencies are joining together to raise funds for the delivery of safe drinking water, food, health and nutrition services, shelter materials and crucial support for families who have lost their incomes.
“The situation in East Africa is dire. We must act now to prevent thousands of lives from being lost to malnutrition and dehydration”, said Patricia Erb, President and CEO of Save the Children Canada and member of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION. “Infants and children are especially vulnerable. Their survival depends on all of us—aid agencies, governments and the public—working together.”
HUMANITARIAN COALITION members, working in the region for decades, saw the warning signs of drought and responded quickly to save many lives. As the situation escalates, emergency relief operations are ramping up to meet the increasing needs of people in the region, including thousands living in refugee camps and scores more who are arriving each day.
“As a result of this drought, over 1,000 new refugees are arriving in Kenya each day,” says CARE Canada President and CEO Kevin McCort. “Organizations are scaling up programs in Kenya, and throughout the affected region, but resources are strained. Support is urgently needed to ensure people continue to receive the life-saving support they need.”
About the HUMANITARIAN COALITION
With a combined presence in over 120 countries, the joint efforts by the members of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION provide a widespread and effective response to emergencies. The group has one phone number and a joint website for online donations in order to make donating easy for Canadians.
To donate to THE HUMANITARIAN COALITION, call toll-free at 1-800-464-9154, log onto our website at www.together.ca or send donations to THE HUMANITARIAN COALITION, P.O. Box 7023, Ottawa, ON, K1L 5A0.
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For Media inquiries, please contact:
Save the Children