CRISIS IN AFRICA: 12 million people in desperate need of food

Publication Date: 
August 02, 2011

A massive tragedy is unfolding in northern Africa. The worst food crisis of the past century is forcing 12 million people to seek desperate measures to survive. Conditions are worse than the famine of 1984-85 when approximately 1 million people in Ethiopia and Sudan died.

Our missionaries in Kakuma, Kenya, report that some communities are completely without food and people have started to die. As a short term fix, the Salesians have purchased some food items – including beans, corn, flour and cooking oil – for immediate distribution.

During a two day period, the Salesians provided food for 150 refugee families – but the supply was only expected to last about 3 days. Efforts are underway to secure an additional $5,000 to buy a month's worth of meals for 200 families.

Meanwhile, the Salesian International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS) has been distributing clean drinking water around the clock to refugee camps near Gogti, Awbare and Dolo Addo.

Salesian missionaries estimate that more than 1,300 refugees are arriving at the camps each day from Somalia, barely able to walk after enduring the 350-mile journey on foot. Not only are the refugees seeking help to prevent starvation, they are fleeing from the Alshabab militias, a group of Somali terrorists.

Currently it is estimated that 80,000 refugees are crammed into four camps served by the Salesians. They lack any personal belongings and live in fear of starvation.

Conditions are expected to only get worse as wells dry up, livestock dies, food prices soar, disease spreads and terror reigns.

Humanitarian agencies – including the Salesian Missions – are sounding an alarm to engage the international community in hopes of averting an epic catastrophe with massive human suffering and loss of life.

We urge you to stay informed about this developing crisis. It only takes $25 to feed an entire family for a month – and such a small contribution can make a big difference between life and death. We sincerely appreciate any support you can give to the drought victims in northern Africa and other places in the world.

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