Famine has been declared in South Sudan. Together with Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria, more than 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of starvation with these countries on the brink of famine. Kenya and Ethiopia are also facing critical food shortages. What is going on?
In Somalia, 15-month-old Abdi* (pictured) is facing death's door.
Caught in a devastating drought, over which he has no control, he is being left to starve – in a world that has more than enough food. Right now, children in East Africa are facing starvation – millions of lives are in danger.
Facing famine in East Africa…and beyond
While Abdi is receiving treatment in Somalia, there are 1.4 million other children in the region suffering the same pain, and facing starvation. The United Nations warns more than 50,000 children are facing death right now.
Famine has been declared in South Sudan, the first to be announced anywhere in the world in six years. Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria are also on the verge of famine, while Kenya and Ethiopia are both critically affected.
Pete Walsh is Save the Children's Country Director in South Sudan. "While the threat of a famine in South Sudan has been looming for months, the worst-case scenario has now become a devastating reality. In the coming months, famine could spread to other parts of the country, where millions of vulnerable children and families now risk starving to death."
What's causing this crisis?
While the causes of this hunger crisis are varied, the devastating consequences are the same – children are right now struggling to survive and are at risk of starvation.
Widespread drought and brutal conflict has caused successive crop failures, leaving families across the region with little food or water. The number of children requiring treatment for hunger is already beyond what the modern humanitarian system has ever had to cope with at one time.
The catastrophe unfolding around baby Abdi is beyond his control. But if we act without delay, we can save his life. And countless others.
I want to help. What can I do?
You can support our Child Hunger Crisis Appeal. Everything we raise will help us get urgent support to children and families in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
We are already reaching the hardest-hit communities. Right now, our teams are on the ground delivering life-saving aid:
In 2010–11, 258,000 people lost their lives in Somalia because of drought. This cannot happen again. Act now to help prevent famine in Somalia.
Please donate today to help children in East Africa who need you most.
*Not his real name.
Children are dying from severe hunger. They need your urgent help.Donate now: Child Hunger Crisis