MADRE Statements

Help Survivors of the Famine in Somalia

Posted on: Monday, July 25, 2011

Keywords: Kenya, Africa, Environmental Justice, Water Rights, Climate Change, Famine, Emergency Relief

We just received updates from our partners in Kenya, who are mobilizing urgently to give life-saving aid to people suffering in the famine in East Africa. Hubbie Hussein Al-Haji, of our partner organization, Womankind Kenya, told us that the situation is dire. But with your support, we can save lives.

Hubbie told us:

“The situation is so bad that children, lactating mothers and pregnant women are dying in great numbers due to lack of basic needs, including health services.”
Click here to donate to this urgent effort.

Womankind Kenya is an organization of Somali pastoralists – the very people who have been most decimated by this famine. They work with communities in northeastern Kenya, an area bordering Somalia that is in urgent need of help. There is not enough humanitarian aid for the thousands of people fleeing to refugee camps there.

Our partners told us that the Kenyan government is overwhelmed and has declared a national emergency. But Womankind Kenya is local community-based organization. They know what supplies are urgently needed, and how to deliver them to those that need it most.

Deeply impoverished Kenyan communities themselves suffering from the drought are stretching their resources to help with the influx of refugees from Somalia. Hubbie shared that:
“There are also refugees in Ijara District close to the border of Somalia who have not been recognized by the government as refugees but are welcomed by the local community. However, the local communities have nothing to offer except to allow them to settle amongst them to suffer together.”
This is how MADRE makes a difference, by partnering with grassroots organizations who can identify needs otherwise neglected. These local communities and displaced people may not receive government assistance or humanitarian aid from the big aid agencies in the camps—but they can count on your support as a MADRE member.

And they can count on you to understand that women are specifically impacted by disaster and displacement. Hubbie explained:
“Many lives are lost on the way from Somalia, and on top of that, women and girls are sexually abused as they trek in search of a better life.”
MADRE and Womankind Kenya are working to make sure that women have the care and support they need to survive and to provide for their families.

Hubbie also told us that the most urgent needs for refugees now are water, food, clothes, medical outreach and shelter. She also said that Womankind Kenya is purchasing weakened livestock from refugees who can’t afford to keep them and using them to provide food for famine-affected families.

With your support, many lives can be saved.


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