A famine has been declared in South Sudan for two months now — the first time such an event has been announced anywhere in the world in the past six years. Nearly 100,000 people face starvation. Meanwhile, the people of Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are on the brink of famine as well, with nearly 20 million people total lacking access to enough food and water to survive.
This is a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions. But there are many organizations working to help the people affected by famine receive the nutrients they deserve. Here are a few of the organizations working to fight this crisis:
World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading global organization fighting hunger and organizing logistics in humanitarian emergencies. Many organizations working on the ground in hunger emergencies actually work for WFP. They deliver food assistance and work with communities to improve nutrition. Already in 2017, World Food Programme has provided food distributions and digital cash cards to nearly a million people in Somalia, and is in the process of raising $1.5 billion to combat food insecurity in Nigeria.
On April 12, WFP announced its plans for emergency operations in Yemen: To provide food assistance to nearly seven million people classified as severely food insecure; secure nutrition support to prevent or treat malnutrition among 2.2 million children; and assist breastfeeding and pregnant mothers with specialized nutritious foods. You can click here to see and share their appeal for food access, and here to read their joint statement with the United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization on famine in South Sudan.
UNICEF operates across 190 countries and territories, advocating specifically with and for children through fundraising, advocacy, and education. UNICEF has outlined a three-pronged approach responding to the food crises in Africa: to aid 13.1 million children suffering from famine conditions in these four countries, to treat 1 million children under the age of 5 for serious acute malnutrition, and to raise $712 million in 2017 to fund these projects. UNICEF has been a leader in bringing direct and innovative solutions to food crises in the region, like their ready-to-use therapeutic food initiative in South Sudan.
Mercy Corps is an organization that aims to “alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.” Their mission is to increase accountability and participation within their partner countries by providing not only aid and supplies but on-the-ground assistance as well. They’re all about working from within to create change! Right now, Mercy Corps has members on the ground in Africa to help families get the food, water, and supplies they need in order to survive. Click here to find out more.
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that targets both the causes and effects of hunger. Their primary target areas are Nutrition & Health, Water & Sanitation, and Food Security & Livelihoods. They also have an Emergency Response branch, which evaluates crises in order to best serve the affected communities. Currently, they have a program focused specifically on the impending famine in Somalia, as well as a broader campaign targeting famine in South Sudan, Yemen, and Nigeria.
CARE works across multiple platforms around the world to defeat poverty and empower communities. They have projects in 94 countries and reach over 80 million people through their work! This past March, CARE denounced the proposed budget cuts to foreign aid, as it would directly affect more than 20 million people already facing famine conditions in Africa. Find out more about their message and their efforts to end global hunger here.
For more than 70 years, Oxfam has been working to end poverty by tackling issues that keep people poor: inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources. They work with local and national organizations to help communities facilitate the change they want to see. Oxfam is launching a huge effort to reach people facing hunger crises in Ethiopia, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Kenya through food vouchers, direct access to clean water, and sanitation services. Oxfam has opportunities for you to take action through letters, volunteering, hosting an event, responding to emergencies, and more! Click here to find out about how Oxfam is working to end hunger and famine.