Approximately 13 million individuals are starving, have died, or been displaced as a result of the drought in the Horn of Africa, more than four times the number that were affected by the earthquake in Haiti. To date, between 29,000 and 30,000 children have died as a consequence of the famine, primarily in Somalia and refugee populations fleeing the area.
As the situation progresses, projections estimate up to 750,000 others may die as a consequence of the famine and related complications. As rains return, waterborne illnesses like cholera and rotavirus will become a challenge, particularly for those whose immune systems have been compromised by nutritional deficiencies.
“If you use your voice, and share the facts, and tell the stories, more people will pay attention. This story is not just one of despair and suffering, but also one of success.“
In an effort to better tell the story about the humanitarian crisis and the relief efforts happening in the area, today USAID announced the launch of their FWD campaign. FWD – Famine, War, and Drought Relief – provides an outlet where the Agency can share up-to-the minute information about data coming out of the Horn and offer Americans concrete ways they can make a difference.
The campaign aims to share both the challenges of the drought and the success stories coming out of US government funded programs providing relief efforts in the area. The campaign asks Americans to go beyond donating – though there continues to be a need for additional humanitarian assistance funds – and to “forward the facts” to friends and family who may not be aware of the severity of the crisis. Americans have a strong history of generosity and giving: more Americans donating to the relief efforts in Haiti than watched the Superbowl. FWD asks how we can take that commitment one step further.
Monitoring & Evaluation Associate, JSI