FAMINE UPDATE: The Pictures Tell The Tragic Story

Publication Date: 
September 07, 2011

The news of the epic tragedy in the Horn of Africa is unfolding at a painfully slow pace. While hundreds of thousands of famine victims desperately cling to life, their extreme pain and suffering is going largely unnoticed by the rest of the world.

That's because conditions are so bad, communication lines have been broken – creating an isolated island of human devastation. Even neighboring regions a few hundred miles away have little knowledge about the fate of their fellow countrymen.

Our Salesian missionaries working in the thick of the crisis are trying their best to send reports. But as expected, they must first attend to the immediate needs of the children and adults literally dying of malnutrition.

The few photos we have received so far, however, tell a very heartwrenching story. Long lines stretch from our refugee camps – people of all ages waiting patiently for help. There is no visible sign of panic in their faces as malnutrition has sapped their energy and their spirits. Many of the victims are so frail, it is only a matter of days or even hours before they succumb to the starvation.

The ultimate death toll is certain to be enormous. But tens of thousand of lives – if not many more – will be saved because people like you chose to care. In fact, the outstanding generosity of our friends and donors has enabled our missionaries to make a huge impact.

During the last two weeks, the Salesians participated in the delivery of 49 tons of food to North Horr, consisting of 25 tons of corn, 10 tons of beans, 10 tons of fortified flour, 3 tons of rice and 1 ton of cooking fat. An additional 25 tons of food – including corn, beans, cooking oil, peas, flour, biscuits and powdered milk were sent to Lodwa-Turkana.

We will continue to provide updates when possible and sincerely appreciate any support you can give to drought victims in northern Africa and to other needy people we service around the world. 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.