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MADRE Staff Returns with Updates from Drought-Stricken Kenya

MADRE: Rights, Resources and Results for Women Worldwide
CONTACT: Stephanie Kung, MADRE (212) 627-0444,

MADRE Staff Returns with Updates from Drought-Stricken Kenya

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 – New York, NY – Today, MADRE staff returned from a week-long trip to Kenya. There, they met with local women grappling with the region's worst famine in 60 years.

MADRE staff met with Hubbie Hussein Al-Haji of Womankind Kenya, a local women's organization of Somali pastoralists. MADRE has partnered with Womankind Kenya to provide lifesaving aid to Somali women and families fleeing the famine into neighboring Kenya. With MADRE's support, Womankind Kenya has distributed emergency supplies such as calorie-dense food, water and medicine.

Womankind Kenya also addresses crises that larger aid organizations often overlook. Many women and families are unable to access aid in overcrowded camps. Instead, they gather on the outskirts. Womankind Kenya has served as a crucial line of support for these refugees, ensuring that they do not slip through the cracks.

Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director, said today, "Meeting Hubbie face to face was an invaluable chance to strengthen our work together. She also highlighted a devastating but underreported aspect of this famine: the reality of sexual violence against refugee women. Women who travel for weeks seeking the relative safety of refugee camps are vulnerable to attack along the way. They arrive in Kenya traumatized, and Womankind Kenya is there to meet them with the support and care that they need."

Natalia Caruso, MADRE Program Director, said today, "By partnering with Womankind Kenya, we are able to ensure that emergency aid goes where it is needed most. They have strong connections with local communities in northeastern Kenya who are confronting this famine–because these are their own communities."

Available for interview:

Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director, works with women's human rights activists from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, creating programs to address violence against women, economic development, climate change, armed conflict and more.

You can also join a free national teleconference with MADRE, hosted by MKU sorority, to address the current famine and extensive drought on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 7 pm. Register by clicking here:

August 23, 2011  / Africa / Kenya