Thousands raised to aid East Africa drought victims
A JEWISH aid agency is distributing food to drought victims in East Africa after an appeal to the UK Jewish community raised more than £180,000.
World Jewish Relief (WJR) launched its East Africa Food Crisis Appeal on March 17 to provide food and water and essential medical supplies in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Drought, poor rains and conflict have ruined harvests, leaving millions in the region malnourished and in need of medical support. The organisation said 16 million people still need “immediate help”.
Paul Anticoni, WJR chief executive, thanked the Jewish community for its generosity, but said the victims’ needs are still “stratospheric”:
Mr Anticoni said: “With their harvests decimated, millions of children are malnourished and in urgent need of food and water. Our community must continue to help people on the brink of starvation.”
WJR said farming communities had been hit the hardest by the drought and subsequent famine.
A spokesman said: “Farmers’ incomes have been reduced because their livestock have died in the drought and they now have nothing to sell.
“In addition, the price of grains, like maize and wheat, have spiked because of food scarcity. As conditions have worsened, many of the farmers who previously led nomadic lives in rural areas are now settling in small villages, putting further pressure on precious resources like food and water.”
WJR humanitarian manager Mireille Flores, who is currently in Kenya, said: “It has been so humbling to see the difference the Jewish community’s help is making to people living in such desperate circumstances.
“The victims are dehydrated, hungry and depressed. They quite literally do not know where their next meal is coming from or whether their children will survive the night.”
Water is delivered to villagers in Malka Mari, Kenya