One of the worst humanitarian crises in 60 years is unfolding right now as famine and severe drought ravage Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and the surrounding region in Africa.
Without rainfall, 11.6 million people have been affected by this natural disaster as water dries up and crops and animals perish. People continue to be uprooted from their homes by drought and hospitals and camps overflow with refugees. The international community cannot ignore this worsening emergency.
Without more attention and financial support, this human tragedy could soon become a forgotten crisis. The time to speak up is now.
Seven-month-old Mihag is one of 800,000 children at risk of dying. After their cattle and sheep died, Mihag’s family, like many others, was on the move in search of water, food and medical help. Weak from the journey and alarmingly underweight, Mihag needed emergency nourishment and care. Though he is now receiving medical attention at an International Rescue Committee field hospital, he remains in critical condition.
Urge the United States Congress to provide emergency funding to help victims of the drought and famine. Ask your legislators to keep this devastating famine from becoming a forgotten crisis.
Experts predict that this will be the worst humanitarian crisis in 60 years. I am concerned that hundreds of thousands of men, women and children will suffer and die because of a lack of water, food, medicines and shelter.
Please move quickly to provide significant emergency aid to the people of East Africa. Funding should not be re-allocated away from other programs for those who are hungry, sick, and in need. Otherwise we will only replicate this crisis in other locations.
In addition to funding refugee and disaster aid, I urge you to take an interest in this crisis, speak out to the media, work to remove barriers to aid delivery and take a special interest in protecting women and girls.
I realize that budget constraints will present tough choices in the year ahead.
Given the magnitude of this crisis, however, America must lead the way in moving quickly to provide robust aid.