Drought

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Zambia: Drought

Zambia is currently experiencing a serious humanitarian crisis due to frequent droughts, floods and heat waves driven by climate change. These disaster risks are affecting the country’s poorest communities, especially in rural areas, which rely on rainfall for agriculture. These dry spells, compounded by the El Niño effect, are driving overall increasing severity of food insecurity. The IFRC and its membership aim to reach 476,448 people with actions aimed at improving food security, encourage positive hygiene and health behaviours, and improve nutritional status of children under the age of five.

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| Emergency

Mozambique: Drought

The 2023-2024 El Niño has been one of the strongest on record, bringing below-average rainfall between October 2023 and February 2024 in southern and central Mozambique. It also brought average- to above-average rainfall to the northern part of the country. Prior to the current El Niño, 2.7 million people living in the drought-affected areas were already facing high levels of malnutrition. This is expected to worsen as conditions deteriorate. Through this Emergency Appeal, IFRC and its membership will support the Mozambican Red Cross (Cruz Vermelha de Moçambique) to reach 55,000 people (11,000 households) across Tete, Manica and Gaza provinces.

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Keeping humanity alive by helping communities stay safe from infectious diseases

In the outskirts of Bongor, a town on the western border of Chad, volunteers from the local Red Cross and the French Red Cross are hard at work.In a residential area teeming with children and animals — and under daily scorching heat — the volunteers are organising activities with the community aimed at helping prevent and control the spread of infectious disease.The community here lacks the infrastructure needed to deliver safe water or discharge their wastewater. And because public fountains used for gathering water are not maintained rigorously, the risk of infection here is high.Lack of sanitation systems means that other risky practices, such as open defecation, pose significant hygienic and epidemiological risks.For this reason, the volunteers are raising public awareness about ways people can protect themselves from infection, such as proper cleaning and sanitation of water sources as well as practices to avoid.“The activities raised real awareness among community members,” says Catherine, a 26-year-old volunteer for the Chad Red Cross and local resident. “We notice in particular that the vaccination centre is much busier.”A pharmacy technician, Catherine has been volunteering with the Chad Red Cross for more than a year. She is responsible for raising awareness of the dangers of open defecation.Red Cross volunteers and community members are mobilised three times a week to clean areas most at risk and raise awareness of good practices.“The project will continue to live on its own on the principle of the community transmitting [this information] to the community,” Catherine adds.Catherine is passionate about her work to build knowledge and resilience in her community, and stop diseases from spreading. “The objective,” she explains, “is to fight measles, yellow fever, poliomyelitis, Guinea worm and COVID-19”.The Red Cross volunteers use community disease surveillance methods to keep people safe – recording health-related data about specific issues or incidence of illness affecting the community, and encouraging people to report suspected cases.For Marie-Claire, a state-certified nurse and resident of Bongor who manages a women-led health centre in the city, the Red Cross efforts are effective because they have built trust with people in the community."The Red Cross serves as a trusted intermediary between residents and the health centre,” she says. “The Red Crossconducts disease surveillance and sends pregnant women or those suspected of illnesses for consultations [with the health centre]."The volunteers’ disease-prevention work in various neighbourhoods of Bongor is supported by the Programmatic Partnership between the IFRC network and the European Union. The partnership provides strategic, flexible, long-term and predictable funding, so that National Societies can act before a crisis or health emergency occurs. It is being implemented in 24 countries around the world.

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Resilience: Nurturing new life in Galoolay village

By Timothy Maina, IFRC communications officer and Guuleed Elmi, SRCS Somaliland, director of communicationsNestled in Somaliland's Togdheer region, the vibrant agro-pastoral community of Galoolay faced a harsh reality - a ravaging drought that threatened their very way of life.But hope arrived with the SRCS Somaliland Resilience and Livelihoods Programme, which empowers communities like Galoolay by fortifying their resilience against disasters and climate change, fostering sustainable livelihoods, and ensuring access to clean water and sanitation.Made possible through a partnership between the German Red Cross (GRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS), the program has successfully completed two life-changing initiatives in Galoolay since 2022 that have reached over 2,000 families.A Community StrugglesAmong the many the concrete examples of the project’s impact is the renovated berked — a traditional underground water cistern — that provides residents of Galoolay with a critical source of clean water for households and for livestock.Standing next to the refurbished cistern, Asad Abdilahi Heri, the village head, paints a vivid picture of a community struggling with drought and why access to water is so critical. Their livestock, the lifeblood of their livelihood, has dwindled by a shocking 3,800 head due to drought in recent years."Since this berked was constructed, life has improved for the better and more than half of our water needs of the households have been met,” he says. “We thank SRCS for coming to our aid."Due to increasing water scarcity in recent years, only two of the 56 berkeds that once existed still function. Villagers were forced to travel a grueling 30 kilometers to the nearest water source in Odweine district.The restoration of this water source — done by the community with SRCS support — has significantly improved the situation for 480 households who now rely on it for their primary water needs.Despite the improvements, the scars of the drought remain. Familes that were displaced due to livestock loss now live in the village, relying on donkeys and camels for the arduous water-fetching journeys.Still, there's a sense of progress. With over half the village's water needs met, life has improved. Heri's plea for another berked, along with repairs to existing ones, reflects the community's desire for a more sustainable water future.Koos Yusuf Mohamed: A Story of ResilienceSRCS' intervention has also been instrumental in reviving the village's agricultural efforts. Their support, including providing hours of field ploughing work, significantly helped farmers like Mama Koos Yusuf Mohamed cultivate a second harvest of corn.A mother of eight, Mama Koos exemplifies the challenges and triumphs of Galoolay. Despite limited resources, she keeps a spirit of optimism and gratitude. The drought reduced crop yields, but Mama Koos finds solace in the SRCS' continued support."Despite the drought hurting our crops, their continued support gives us hope,” she says. “They generously provided four hours of ploughing for my land, allowing me to harvest corn a second time this season.”The drought's effects are undeniable, but SRCS' support has demonstrably made a difference. The community's corn residue, used for animal feed, ensures the well-being of the remaining livestock, a vital part of their livelihood. With healthy animals, the village can rebuild herds, rebuild their economic engine, and secure a future they wouldn't be at the mercy of the elements.

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| Press release

Global Summit announces ‘sprint of action’ to tackle consequences of extreme heat

Summit was co-hosted by the IFRC and USAIDExtreme heat is a silent, yet formidable adversary that – without action – will kill thousands in coming years.But, as participants at the first-ever Global Summit on Extreme Heat heard, there is plenty that can be done. Countering the worst of extreme heat’s impact will take action from the local to global level. The Global Summit on Extreme Heat, held on Thursday, was co-hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It brought together political and civil society leaders, representatives of the private sector and those from the world’s most affected communities to discuss best practice and ideas.Besides the co-hosts Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Secretary General and Samantha Power, USAID Administrator, speakers included John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the [US] President for International Climate Policy, His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti and Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, among others.The keynote address was delivered by IFRC Secretary-General Jagan Chapagain. He said:“While hurricanes and floods often capture the headlines, extreme heat quietly exacts a toll on lives and livelihoods . . . In 2024 we declare extreme heat a priority . . . Let us be the architects of resilience, the enablers of hope.”Chapagain laid out four key actions that need to take place. The first is protecting the vulnerable, particularly those in urban areas and in marginalised communities. The second is investing in early warning systems and anticipatory actions. The third is forging partnerships across borders, and the fourth is putting local communities in the driving seat of change.Samantha Power, Administrator of USAID, said:“At a time when some have grown numb with increasingly familiar headlines about ‘hottest days on record’, we absolutely need to resolve never to get used to the scale of this problem, never to get used to the threat it poses to human life.” Following the summit, an online ‘Heat Action Hub’ has been established where people can share experiences and best practice when it comes to tackling extreme heat. The IFRC and USAID have jointly announced a 'sprint of action’ on extreme heat which will run up to a ‘Global Day of Action on Extreme Heat’ on June 2, 2024.A recording of the summit can be watched here.For interviews contact:IFRC [email protected] ThomasMobile: +41763676587

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IFRC rolls out full climate action journey after successful National Society trials

The IFRC and its specialist reference centre on climate are today outlining the full seven-stage “climate action journey” that has been trialled by the National Societies of Malawi (blogandstorymap), Nigeria and Pakistan and encompasses the key concepts of climate-smart operations and locally led adaptation.It had earlier been formally presented at a training session in Naivasha, Kenya,attended by representatives of 20 African National Societies, as well as IFRC secretariat and Climate Centre specialists.The climate action journey starts with the key enabling factors of institutional buy-in through signing of the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations, dedicated staff, seed funding, raised awareness, and the mobilization of youth and volunteersThis year, a range of additional National Societies will embark on the journey to scale up climate action and locally led adaptation: they will be able to increase their knowledge on changing climate-risks and impacts, strengthen capacities and partnerships, and access climate finance with solid proposals.The climate crisis has necessitated the empowering of communities to take charge of their own solutions and to secure for local actors and the most vulnerable communities the international climate finance that is currently falling short.This climate action journey seeks to prepare National Societies to increase adaptation driven by communities.Implementation, evaluationA guide to climate-smart programmes– the journey’s first three stages, centring on climate risk assessment, climate-smart screening and climate-smart planning – was published last year in bothlongandsummaryform; the former includes example of climate-smart programmes in various sectors from the Red Cross Red Crescent in (alphabetically) Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Vanuatu and Zambia.The last four stages of the journey – multi-year climate strategy, engagement with communities on adaptation, design of locally-led adaptation programmes, and implementation followed by evaluation – are detailed in the new publication,The importance of scaling up locally led adaptation, which will be expanded later this year.Climate-smart programmes and operations integrate climate and weather information, including long-term climate projections, “to ensure that, at a minimum, they do not place people at increased risk from new climate extremes and … empower communities to anticipate, absorb and adapt to climate shocks and long-term changes,” the journey text says.Locally led adaptation in all its forms, meanwhile, ensures “communities are empowered to lead sustainable and effective adaptation to climate change at the local level, increasing long-term resilience of communities to climate shocks”.Prisca Chisala, Malawi Red Cross Society Director of Programmes and its climate champion, says in her blog that the climate action journey enabled the National Society to “set our institutional vision and priorities on climate for the next few years”.She adds that the journey has been “a living process, able to be adapted whenever new experience and lessons arise. Experiences and thoughts by National Societies are critical to shape this journey into a tool that will be most helpful to the mission and work of Red Cross Red Crescent.“The National Society has to be at the centre of the journey, defining the direction it’s taking.”IFRC Under Secretary General Xavier Castellanos said today: ”This decade demands an unequivocal commitment to locally led adaptation as we confront the escalating climate crisis. Urgency compels us to strengthen local initiatives and empower local actors to spearhead climate resilience.”The climate action journey empowers numerous National Societies to lead the change, forge impactful partnerships, including with local authorities, and foster the emergence of climate-resilient communities.”Most National Societies are already effective in climate-related areas such as preparedness, anticipatory action, response and recovery, generating entry points for more extensive climate programming and integrating climate considerations into their work.But access to international climate finance that reaches down to the local level is another important component of them becoming climate champions for their countries.

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Bolivia: Drought on the one hand, floods on the other — safe water a critical challenge in both cases

In the last year, the Bolivian people have had to cope with devastating floods, the hottest year on record and the most severe drought in its history.Over two million people suffered from the lack of rain, while the storms left over 50 people dead and 430,000 people affected.These data seem to confirm what science has been telling us for some time: Bolivia is the most vulnerable country to the climate crisis in South America. Prolonged droughtsThe frequency and intensity of drought episodes is increasing in the highlands and plains of the country.In 2023, Bolivia experienced the longest dry period in its history, a consequence of high temperatures and the climate crisis, intensified by the El Niño phenomenon. In seven of Bolivia's nine departments (La Paz, Potosí, Cochabamba, Oruro, Chuquisaca, Tarija and Santa Cruz), nearly two million people saw the lack of rain dry up their fields, deplete their savings and damage their physical and mental health.The effects were particularly severe in rural areas, where income and jobs depend on agriculture and the raising of camelids, sheep and cows. Water reservoirs dried up completely; potato and other staple food crops were lost; and llamas and alpacas began to get sick and even die of thirst. "Every time a llama dies, apart from the emotional loss, we are losing about $100 USD, the equivalent of what we need to live for a month in our sector," says Evaristo Mamani Torrencio, a resident of Turco, in the department of Oruro.“Per family, we lose between 15-20 llamas. That is a lot of money and that is a loss not only for the community, but it is also a loss for the town, because that is where the money comes from to buy our things in Oruro. If we don't make that economic movement and if we don't have resources, then we are simply not going to move the market."Water scarcity can lead to restrictions on water use, an increase in its price and a decrease in its quality. This reduces the frequency by which people can hydrate themselves, weakens hygiene measures and increases the spread of stomach and infectious diseases.In cases such as Evaristo's and other communities supported by the Bolivian Red Cross, the long recovery time after drought can also lead families to make decisions with irreversible effects on their lives. These include being forced to sell their land, going into debt or migrating.Devastating floodsMeanwhile, in other parts of Bolivia, sudden flooding is also having a severe impact on people’s access to safe water supplies. On February 27, 2024, the Acre River in the city of Cobija, on the border with Brazil, exceeded its historical maximum and caused the flooding of 16 urban sectors and three rural communities."The landslides associated with rainfall in 90 per cent of the country contrast with a progressive annual decrease in rainfall recorded by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service in recent years," says Julian Perez, Program and Operations Coordinator for the IFRC in the Andean countries."Something that concerns the IFRC is that both events, droughts and floods, have severe long-term impacts on the community, affecting food production, food security and generating water deficit and malnutrition."In addition to damage to fields and infrastructure, the population is already facing cases of dermatitis, respiratory infections and water-borne diseases such as diarrhea.They are also preparing to avoid mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue."In the first quarter of 2024 alone, Bolivia has registered a total of 11,000 cases of dengue fever,”Perez says.Bolivian Red Cross in actionIn both extreme cases, access to clean water and essential services is critical to maintain health and prevent the spread of disease.With support from the Bolivian Red Cross and the Emergency Fund for Disaster Response (IFRC-DREF), 6,500 people affected by the droughts and floods will be able to protect themselves via improved access to safe water and they will be able to better decide how to recover from the floods by receiving cash to address their most urgent needs."Bolivia urgently needs to implement climate change adaptation measures, such as reforestation and the construction of adequate infrastructure, as well as improve the early warning system and support the State's efforts to strengthen disaster management", Perez concludes.

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Islamic humanitarian giving

As the world’s largest network of locally based humanitarian organizations and volunteers, the IFRC is uniquely positioned to ensure your Zakat or Sadaqah donation reaches the people and communities who need it most. Fully accredited for receiving Zakat donations, we are based in communities alongside those we support. We act before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs of, and improve the lives of, vulnerable people—reaching millions every year.

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Extreme fire-weather in Chile driven by climate change and El Niño

By the Climate CentreOn Monday 12 February the IFRC approved a Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) operation for half a million Swiss francs to help the Chilean Red Cross assist nearly 10,000 people affected by the fires, which it says have had “profound consequences” and are notably worse than similar wildfires a year ago.The Chilean Red Cross is continuing to assist thousands of people affected by the wildfires that the UN now says are believed to be the deadliest on record in the country, collecting aid in kind donated by residents all over the country, and partnering with a local bank to expedite online donations.The Red Cross is also assisting on the ground with first aid and has set up a hotline to help family members separated by the fires to re-establish contact.A full account of the Chilean Red Cross response to the disaster – which President Gabriel Boric earlier this week described as the “biggest tragedy” since the 2010 earthquake – is now available (in Spanish) via an IFRC X/Twitter space.“The inhabitants of Viña del Mar, of Quilpué, of Villa Alemana, have gone through and are experiencing a situation that has been tremendously catastrophic, exceptional, unprecedented and painful,” President Boric said.Chilean authorities said Tuesday that 131 bodies had been recovered from burnt-out neighbourhoods.Destructive seasonsThe fires in Chile come two weeks after Colombia declared a disaster as nearly 30 wildfires continued to rage there out of more then 300 since November, UNDRR noted, adding that a 2022 report by the UN Environment Programme anticipated a global increase of extreme fires of up to 14 per cent by 2030 “due to climate change and land-use change”.In Chile, wildfires have “dramatically risen in recent years”, according to a study published late last month in Nature journal, which researched the 2022–23 southern hemisphere summer fire-season. Nearly 2 million hectares have been ravaged by wildfires over the past ten years, the study says, three times the amount for the preceding decade, with all but one of the seven most destructive seasons observed since 2014.“Fire weather conditions (including high temperatures, low humidity, dryness, and strong winds) increase the potential for wildfires, once ignited, to rapidly spread,” the Nature authors write, while “the concurrence of El Niño and climate-fuelled droughts and heatwaves boost the local fire risk and have decisively contributed to the intense fire activity recently seen in central Chile.”MegadroughtJuan Bazo, the Climate Centre’s regional representative for Latin America, said today: “There is clear evidence that climate change and variability, including ENSO, have a significant relationship to fires in Chile, especially in the past decade when they’ve been increasingly extreme".“Unprecedentedly severe droughts and heatwaves are closely linked to wildfires and are having a serious impact on the most vulnerable communities.”Additional investments in adaptation and resilience that may be needed in the light of intensifying climate impacts include “include improving the country’s Early Warning System (EWS), a critical tool to take early action, reduce disaster risk, and support climate adaptation,” the Nature article adds.“These systems allow forecasting hazardous weather and help to minimize impacts by opportunely informing governments, communities, and individuals.”For much of the last decade, Chile has also been in the grip of what is termed a megadrought – the longest since records began, heightening the risk still further.

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Hunger crisis: ‘Now I can take care of my own family’

In the Lubombo region of Eswatini, near the town of Big Bend, 39-year-old Bongani Masuku looks over at his field of maize. He just harvested a section last week. “But there is still work to do,” Bongani says and starts working the land. Lubombo is one of the hottest areas in Eswatini. As Bongani weeds his field, the temperature has already risen to over 34 degrees. “I remove the weeds so that my maize will grow properly,” he says. “If I let the weeds take over, the seedlings would grow to be very thin and not offer good harvest.” Earlier in the season, Bongani attended an agricultural training, after which he received a cash grant of around 70 euros. He invested the money in maize seeds that are more resilient to drought, as climate change has made rains more irregular and increased drought. Around 70 per cent of Eswatini’s population are directly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. This is why the changing weather conditions are extremely concerning. “The recent heatwaves have really made farming more difficult. The maize should not receive too much sunlight when it is blooming. Rain is important at that stage. The last time the maize was in bloom there was no rain at all, so my harvest was smaller than I expected.” The maize field has a great significance to Bongani. “This allows me to feed my family, but also to sell some of the crops and get money,” he adds. “This money helps me put my children to school. I have five children with my darling wife. Now I can buy them schoolbooks and other school supplies, like pens. If I make enough money, I can also buy them shoes to wear to school.” Prolonged food insecurity Like elsewhere in Southern Africa, people in Eswatini are suffering from a severe and prolonged food security crisis that began in 2015. The drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon, further strengthened by climate change and the irregular rains and floods ever since, have damaged harvests year after year. Bongani is one of the 25,500 people included in the three-year project funded by the European Union to improve food security by means of cash assistance. In addition to the Finnish Red Cross, the project includes the Baphalali Eswatini Red Cross Society and Belgian Red Cross Flanders. For recipients of the cash grants such as Winile Masuku, the cash assistance has meant the ability to buy food such as rice, maize flour and cooking oil at a time when regular food sources are far less plentiful and more expensive. “Before receiving cash assistance, we were dependent on our neighbours,” Winile explains as she sits in front of her home – its walls made of intricately woven branches and stonework. “Now I can take care of my own family.” Gardening for change While not everyone is a farmer, many people in Eswatini grow a portion of their daily sustenance in local community gardens. This is one reason this climate-resilience project also aims to revive the tradition of community gardens. Part of that effort includes trainings from the Ministry of Agriculture on how to most effectively tend community gardens in the face of more extreme climate conditions. After each training, participants get a cash grant of around 35 euros to buy plant seeds, for example. The participants are encouraged to use crop varieties that require less water. “The garden offers stability to my family, as I employ myself with this and take care of my family,” says Sibongile, one of the participants. “The harvest from the garden allows me to feed my family, and I can also sell some crops to get money for my children’s education.” Health in the countryside It’s also important to ensure that people stay healthy as drought and heat can create conditions that exacerbate the spread of diseases and symptoms such as dehydration. For this reason, the EU-funded project also supports the community in epidemic and pandemic preparedness. The Baphalali Eswatini Red Cross Society runs three clinics in the country, and the project supports their capacity to respond to different epidemics, such as diarrhoeal diseases, tuberculosis and HIV. “Each morning we offer health advice, meaning that we tell patients what epidemics are currently ongoing,” explains Phumlile Gina, a nurse at the clinic in Hosea Inkhundla in the Shiselweni region. “Right now we are informing them of vaccinations, especially against the coronavirus and tuberculosis. We also highlight proper hygiene: we explain how important it is to wash your hands and also remind people to wash their water containers every now and then.” “Some of our patients here in the countryside are very poor,” she adds. “They can come to the clinic for some completely other reason, for a flu for example. But we may then notice that the growth of the patient’s child is clearly stunted and there is reason to suspect malnourishment.” “We are able to take care of such situations as well and monitor the condition of the patients. It feels great when a patient comes back to the clinic after six months and says that their child is doing great and playing like other children.” The Programmatic Partnership between the IFRC network and the European Union, provides strategic, flexible, long-term and predictable funding, so that National Societies can act before an emergency occurs. It is being implemented worldwide including 13 countries in Africa.

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| Press release

Africa's hunger crisis intensifies: IFRC warns against crisis fatigue

Geneva/Nairobi, 07 December 2023: In response to the growing hunger crisis across sub-Saharan Africa, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is amplifying its call to action amidst growing concerns of crisis fatigue. To this end, the IFRC has revised its funding appeal to 318 million Swiss Francs, now aiming to reach 18 countries. More than a year has passed since the initial launch of the Africa hunger crisis appeal, yet the needs continue to outpace support received. Originally set at 215 million Swiss Francs for 16 countries, only 59 million Swiss Francs has been raised. This humanitarian crisis, intensified by recurring droughts, El Niño-induced floods, conflicts and economic downturns, demands an immediate response to prevent widespread suffering, loss of lives and livelihoods. Around 157 million people in 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa face acute food insecurity. Despite early warnings from African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, more funding and resources are needed. The Horn of Africa has been particularly hard-hit, enduring its longest dry spell on record with five consecutive dry seasons. In contrast, regions like eastern Kenya, parts of South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Tanzania experienced heavier than usual rains during the October-December season, leading to flooding that further aggravated the situation for those already facing acute food insecurity. This mix of extreme weather conditions, along with ongoing conflicts, has led to varied harvest outcomes across the continent. Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are witnessing heart-wrenching conditions where many, including women and children, survive on less than one meal a day. Mohamed Omer Mukhier, Regional Director for Africa, emphasized the continued urgency: “In the past year, the dire need for resources in tackling the current hunger crisis has been evident with millions of people deprived of water, food and health services. While this crisis has intensified, it has been largely overshadowed by more visible crises over the past year. Considering its magnitude across the continent, we urgently call for expanded support to pursue our collective lifesaving and life-sustaining mobilization.” These countries are currently at the heart of the hunger crisis: Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies have been instrumental in providing life-saving assistance to millions affected by this crisis. So far, they have reached 1.53 million people. Most of the aid provided has been water and sanitation services, reaching over 1.2 million people. Additionally, over 725,000 people received cash assistance and over 450,000 received health and nutrition support. This underscores the IFRC's commitment to transitioning from immediate relief to sustainable, long-term resilience strategies in the region. The revised appeal will focus on improving agricultural practices, fostering peace and stability and creating economic opportunities. More information: For more details, visit the Africa Hunger Crisis appeal page. For audio-visual material, visit the IFRC newsroom. To request an interview, contact: [email protected] In Nairobi: Anne Macharia: +254 720 787 764 In Geneva: Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67 Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06

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Off the radar: Ten disasters of 2023 you’ve likely never heard of

Maybe it's because the disaster happened in a remote, rural area, far from media hubs. Maybe it’s “too small” to warrant a global reaction. Whatever the reason, some emergencies don't get as much attention as others. For the people living through these crises, however, they are just as real, heartbreaking and life-changing as the big catastrophes that go viral or that benefit from the ‘CNN effect’. And when you’ve lost your home to a flood, fire or landslide – or you’ve had to leave town with nothing but the clothes on your back – you don’t have time for the world to catch on. This is why the IFRC has a rapid-response funding mechanism called the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (IFRC-DREF) that gets funds quickly to all crises, large or small. Here are ten of the least-known disasters that IFRC-DREF responded to in 2023. 1. El Nino in Ecuador In the later half of 2023, extreme rainfall generated by the El Niño phenomenon on the Ecuadorian coast caused rapid flooding. Fortunately, affected communities were more prepared than in the past thanks to actions they took ahead of the rains. When the El Nino’s impacts were first forecast, government agencies declared that preparing for and preventing damage from the expected heavy rains was a national priority. For its part, the IFRC-DREF allocated funds to ensure 1,000 at-risk families would have safe drinking water, proper waste management, food set aside and many other precautionary measures. 2. Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe Like many other relatively localized or regional epidemics, the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe in 2023 has received little international attention. It started in February 2023 and to date, suspected and confirmed cases have been reported in 41 districts in all the country’s 10 provinces. The IFRC has launched an emergency appeal to support the work of the Zimbabwe Red Cross, but even before that, IFRC-DREF dispersed CHF 500,000 to support 141,257 people with health care and water, sanitation and hygiene support in key impacted areas. The goal is to prevent and control the spread of Cholera, interrupt the chain of transmission, facilitate the improvement of case management and improve basic sanitation, hygiene practices and access to safe drinking water. 3. Floods in Bosnia-Herzegovina The northwestern area of Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced intense rainfall in mid-May 2023, causing widespread flooding and extensive damage to people’s houses and local infrastructure. The floods also destroyed crops and rendered much farmland and dairy production inoperable. It was a severe blow to one of the lowest-income areas in Europe, a region that relies on local agriculture for sustenance and income. IFRC-DREF allocated CHF 126,504 to the Bosnian Red Cross to support 1500 people through a variety of assistance measures, including cash transfers, distribution of essential equipment and hygiene supplie, and dissemination of health information, among other things. 4. Storms and floods on top of drought and conflict Sometimes disasters are hidden by the larger crisis enveloping a particular region. The scale of the humanitarian suffering in Yemen is so massive and widespread, there was little notice of the tropical cyclone that hit the country in October 2023. Tropical Cyclone Tej made landfall over the southern coast of Al Mahrah Governorate on the night of 23 October and continued to move northwestward. The cyclone caused widespread flooding, infrastructure destruction, displacement of communities, and the loss of many lives. IFRC-DREF quickly supported the response of Yemen Red Crescent with CHF 281,000 to support internally displaced people, host communities, returnees, marginalized groups, and migrants/refugees. 5. Fires in Chile In Febuary 2023, strong winds and high temperatures caused dozens of forest fires across central and southern Chile, leading to casualties and widespread damage. They followed earlier, destructive forest fires in December 2022 that spread rapidly around the city of Viña del Mar. With IFRC-DREF funding, the Chilean Red Cross provided support to more than 5,000 people. Staff and volunteer teams provided medical support and distributed cash so that people could buy the things they needed to recover.More information. 6. Deadly Marburg outbreak in Gabon In early February 2023, the Government of Equatorial Guinea reported the death of nine people who presented symptoms of hemorrhagic fever and soon after the WHO confirmed the country was experiencing an epidemic of Marburg disease. The Gabon Red Cross contributed to the government’s preventive measures and by 15 May, the epidemic over. Roughly CHF 140,000 in emergency DREF funds are now being used to increase the Gabon Red Cross’s ability to respond to Marburg disease and other outbreaks in the future by ensuring the mobilized personnel can detect suspected cases quickly, anticipate spread and prepare for a coordinated response with health authorities. 7. Severe hail storms in Armenia In June 2023, severe hailstorms struck various regions of Armenia, causing extensive damage and disruption. In the southern region, rural communities near the border experienced heavy precipitation that overwhelmed sewage systems, flooded streets and houses, and rendered roads and bridges impassable. The hail and subsequent flooding resulted in significant damage to houses, livestock, gardens, and food stocks. IFRC-DREF quickly allocated CHF 386,194to support Armenian Red Cross's efforts to help 2,390 people who lost crops, livelihoods or who suffered extreme damage to their homes. 8. Population Movement in Benin Around the world, there are hundreds of places where people are fleeing violence that rarely gets reported in international media. Here’s one case in point: over the past three years, non-state armed groups in the Sahel region has increased in the border area of Burkina Faso with Benin and Togo, forcing thousands to leave their homes. The IFRC-DREF allocated CHF 259,928 to support Benin Red Cross in assisting displaced people and host communities in Benin. The funds were used to provide immediate food and material aid to the most vulnerable households, covering immediate needs (shelter, access to drinking water, basic household supplies) for at least 3,000 people. 9. Cold spells and snowstorms in Mongolia A devastating snowstorm swept across eastern parts of Mongolia and certain provinces in Gobi areas, starting on 19 May 2023. The storm brought high winds and 124 people (mostly from herder community) were reported missing after following their livestock, which wandered off because of the storm. A total of 122 people were found, but tragically 2 people died. There were also severe damage to infrastructure, including the collapse of 22 electricity sub-stations, which caused power outage in several counties. Nearly 150 households suffered loss or severe damage to their “gers” or yurts (traditional circular, domed structures), as well as widespread death of livestock. IFRC-DREF allocated CHF 337,609 to support the Mongolian Red Cross's efforts to provide shelter, cash assistance and psychosocial support to 3,400 people. 10. Drought in Uruguay Uruguay is currently experiencing widespread drought due to a lack of rainfall since September 2022 and increasingly high temperatures in the summer seasons—prompting the Uruguayan government to declare a state of emergency. The government officially requested the support of the Uruguayan Red Cross to conduct a needs assessment of the drought, so it could understand how it was impacting people and agricultural industries. With funding IFRC-DREF, Uruguayan Red Cross teams headed out into the most-affected areas to speak to more than 1,300 familiesabout the drought’s impact on their health, livelihoods and access to water. Their findings are helping the government make more informed decisions on how to address the drought, taking into account the real needs of those affected.More information.

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IFRC at COP 28: The impacts are here, the time to act is now

Whether it’s the increasing power of storms, the proliferation of wildfires, worsening heatwaves and droughts – or the displacement of entire communities due to all the above — the impacts of climate change have been with us for some time. This is why the IFRC is once again heading to the Global Climate Summit, COP28, in the United Arab Emirates, with an urgent message: there’s no more time to waste. The time to act is now and the action must be bold. Just as world leaders must agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent even worse humanitarian impacts, they must vastly scale-up adaptation action at the local level in order to reach the most at-risk and impacted people, according to the IFRC. People like Martha Makaniko, a farmer from Chiwalo village in the town Mulanje in Malawi. Earlier this year, Makaniko lost her home and all her crops due to unexpected flash flooding caused by Cyclone Freddy. After that, the normal rainfalls failed to come and now the El Nino phenomenon threatens to make the expected upcoming lean season even leaner. "Year after year, it’s been getting harder to get good yields from farming and get a good earning,” says Makaniko. “We no longer rely on regular weather patterns. I used to get eight bags of maize from my field. Now I would be lucky to get two." This kind of story is increasingly common in communities where the IFRC network is rooted. They are also the reason why the IFRC has been scaling up its own efforts to work with local communities and Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies to alleviate immediate suffering — providing cash, food, water, hygiene and health support — while also preventing and reducing risks in the future. This is also why the IFRC is urging world leaders assembling for the COP 28 Climate Summit to take the following urgent steps: • prioritize local action • increase financing to help communities adapt • scale-up early action and measures that help communities anticipate risks • strengthen climate resilient health systems and to help people avert, minimize and address loss and damage due to climate-related events. Worse before it gets better Much more investment in all these areas is critical to help communities cope as the situation is likely to worsen before it gets better. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms that climate change is already contributing to an increasing number of humanitarian crises (with average global temperature at 1.15°C above 1850-1900 average). And now there is a very real threat that temperatures will rise even further. Under current policies the world is on track for 2.8°C global warming by 2050, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. In the short term, this year’s El Niño phenomenon is expected to compound the impact with human-induced climate change, pushing global temperatures into uncharted territory, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Reasons for hope There are some reasons for hope however. If urgent steps are taken, there is a chance we can slow or stop further temperature increases while also making communities far less susceptible to climate-related shocks. Across the IFRC network, which includes 191 National Societies, there are numerous examples of communities working with the IFRC and others to make themselves more resilient so they can avoid the food insecurity, health risks and economic impacts of climate related disasters. In Jamaica, for example, the Red Cross worked with a school for deaf students on a climate-smart project to reinforce their self-sufficient campus farm with a solar-powered irrigation system. In Somalia, the IFRC and the Somalia Red Crescent worked with the village of Cuun to reestablish small farms with the help of a new borehole for clean water and a pumping system to help them cope with multiple years of drought. “We struggled to access clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and livelihood support,” says one of the community leaders, Yasiin Maxamed Jamac. “This had a negative impact on our health and well-being, and it made it difficult for us to grow crops, fruit, vegetables and raise livestock." Now over 100 households have their own small farms — 100 metres by 100 metres — where they cultivate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and crops.

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In Somalia, an oasis grows amid the drought

By Timothy Maina, IFRC communications officer Not too long ago, people living in the Cuun village were grappling with the challenge of basic survival. Access to clean water for both domestic and agricultural purposes remained a constant struggle. The community's reliance on hand-dug artesian wells, which were prone to flooding during rainy seasons and regular siltation, significantly reduced their water yield. This scarcity had a detrimental impact on their health and well-being, hindering their ability to cultivate crops, fruits, vegetables, and raise livestock “We struggled to access clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and livelihood support,” says one of the community leaders, Yasiin Maxamed Jamac. “This had a negative impact on our health and well-being, and it made it difficult for us to grow crops, fruit, vegetables and raise livestock.” In 2022, the Somalia Red Crescent Society (SRCS), with the support from the IFRC, rehabilitated the solar-powered borehole pump and provided the Cuun community with adequate water sources for human and animal consumption, as well as irrigation purposes, as part of the IFRC's Africa Hunger Crises Emergency Appeal. Located in the Somali semi-autonomous state of Puntland, the village is less than 400 kilometers from the tip of the Horn of Africa. Like many other parts of Somalia and the Horn of Africa region, Cuun has suffered from recurring failed rainy seasons and occasional flash floods in recent years. Since 2021, Somalia has been under a state of national emergency due to ongoing drought. At the same time, the region around Cuun has also been destabilized by armed violence and population movement — adding to the challenges for those trying to maintain stable livelihoods. A landscape transformed The project with Cuun village is just one example of how the IFRC and National Societies such as the SRCS join forces with local communities to re-inforce local resilience to climate-related shocks and unpredictable weather patterns, which have been aggravated by climate change. It’s the kind of urgent local action the IFRC is calling on world leaders to support at COP28 Climate Summit from 30 Nov. to 12 December. For the village of Cuun, the project has had a transformative impact. Over 100 households now have their own small farms — 100 metres by 100 metres — where they cultivate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and crops, including papaya, lemon, watermelon, onion, tomatoes, pepper, carrot, sweet potato, coriander, sorghum, beans, and maize. The community sells 80 per cent of their harvest in nearby cities, earning an average income of USD 200 to USD 500 per month per household. This represents a significant increase in their income and livelihood, enabling them to improve their food security and overall well-being. One of the beneficiaries of the project is Mama Ruqya*, a mother of eight.She and her family recently moved to Cuun village with their herd of goats looking for pasture. SRCS identified Mama Ruqya as one of the beneficiaries of the 5-month Cash Voucher Assistance programme, which provides people with cash vouchers that can be redeemed for food, water, and other essential items. “During the recent drought season, SRCS supported us with US$ 80 cash grants for five months and it has sustained us a lot,” says Mama Ruqya. “Now as we are in the last stage of the prolonged drought and hoping for rain, we are grateful for the support that we have received.” The initial rains have brought some relief to the herding and farming communities in Cuun village. Mama Ruqya and her family supplement their food supplies and water from the nearby Cuun village while their livestock graze in the reviving plains. *Not her real name, to protect the identity of her children

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El Nino expected to make Malawi’s lean season even leaner

By Anne Wanjiru IFRC Senior Communications Officer Almost every family in Malawi is a farming family, a source of great strength for the country’s economy. This was seen a few decades ago when the country was regularly exporting agricultural produce to neighboring nations. However, this means most families have also been extremely vulnerable to climatic stresses and shocks. "Year after year, it’s been getting harder to get good yields from farming and get a good earning,” says Martha Makaniko, a farmer from Chiwalo village in Mulanje. “We no longer rely on regular weather patterns. I used to get eight bags of maize from my field. Now I would be lucky to get two. I have prepared my land awaiting the rains but have no money to buy seeds or fertilizer." When tropical cyclone Freddy hit Malawi in March 2023, Martha watched as her entire crop was washed away. Like thousands of other farming families, she not only lost her crops. “My house collapsed,” says Martha, who is also ill and in need of money for medical assistance. “I stayed in the shelter for several months. I spent my entire lifesavings building a new house. This set me back. We eat nothing, but porridge made from raw mangoes.” Boiled fruit and poisoned yams People don’t normally boil fruit for food in Malawi, so Martha’s mango porridge is an indication that a lot of families are running out of choices. According to the Malawi government’s Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report, more than 4.4 million peopleare facing hunger. The economic downturn, as well as the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have all exacerbated the hunger situation in Malawi. In the last 18 months,Malawi’s currency – the Malawian Kwacha – has been devalued twice. This has caused inflation on everything, including critical supplies such as seeds and fertilizer. Some farmers find it too expensive to manage their own farms, and decide to do piecework in other people’s fields, a common coping alternative among farming families that is also proving to be very competitive. Those that cannot find any piece work at all will scavenge for wild yams or raw mangoes to boil and feed their families. A variety of wild yams is poisonous, however, and the difference can be hard to tell. Fani Mayesu recently lost her husband and 19-year-old son after consuming poisonous wild yams. “We didn’t know they were poisonous,” she says, with a look of disbelief. “My husband brought them, I prepared them, and we all ate. Immediately we begun getting sick and vomiting. My other 5 children and I recovered but not my husband and one son.” El Nino’s first waves According to forecasts, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. International and national Meteorological agencies say the upcoming 2023/24 rainy season (also known as the lean season when food supplies diminish) in Malawi is expected to be influenced by El Niño. In the past, El Niño conditions have been linked to a delayed start of the rainfall season, below-normal precipitation, and dry spells. The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) in its lean-season response plan will seek to prioritise highly affected districts. This is aimed at strengthening community capacity to cope with the food insecurity while sustaining other resilience building activities. “We hope to not only address the immediate acute food security needs but to also respond to climate predictions through interventions such as distributing early maturing seed varieties,’ says Prisca Chisala, director of programmes and development at MRCS. “We also plan to support winter cropping and encourage crop diversification to adopt drought resistant crops to address the gaps in production.” Red Cross response Through the support of IFRC and partner National Societies, MRCS needs over CHF 3 million to help close to 100,000 people by: • providing food assistance in forms of cash-based transfer, wet feeding in schools and in-kind support • strengthening community resilience through promotion of livelihood and risk reduction, • protection of all vulnerable groups from violence, sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect and ensure that human rights are respected. “It’s critical that we support the farming family’s resilience to attain a harvest after this rainy season, otherwise we will see significant rise in hunger levels,” says John Roche, head of IFRC's cluster delegation for Malawi. Zambia and Zimbabwe. “Time is of essence here to avert a worsening situation from the El-Nino predictions. Only a rapid, effective, and well-resourced response is urgently needed to mitigate the crisis from long-term impacts.”

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Jamaica: Deaf students harness the power of climate-smart farming with support from Red Cross

Planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and feeding the animals have long been part of the life at the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD) in Manchester, Jamaica. On any given day, staff and students at the school’s Knockpatrick Campus might be harvesting beans, squash or vegetables as part of the educational nutritional and livelihoods program. But when the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic led to dwindling enterprise earnings and donations to the school, the administration placed even more focus on using their land to assist in producing some of their internal food demands. In the meantime, however, there were other challenges: persistent drought meant that there simply wasn’t enough water to adequately irrigate the campus’ greenhouse and open field crops That’s when the school turned to “climate-smart” agriculture. With support from the Jamaica Red Cross (JRC), the Knockpatrick campus now uses solar powered pumps to help harvest and store water for its greenhouse and farm. The CCCD had previously installed a water catchment system in the 1960s, but the system has been in a state of disrepair. Tyreke Lewis, one of 130 students who lives at the 130-acre Knockpatrick campus, says the improvements have turned things around for the better. “The school will also be able to produce more goods to be sold to the community and other stakeholders,” he says. “The additional income will help us to pay our bills and other expenses. It will allow us to develop our skills to become more self-reliant for the future.” An island going dry The Knockpatrick Campus is not alone in facing the impacts of climate change. According to the Meteorological Services of Jamaica, all parishes received below normal rainfall in December 2022. Combined with COVID-19, changes in the climate have resulted in major humanitarian consequences, with the poorest and most vulnerable feeling the brunt of its effects through loss of life, economic setbacks and livelihood loss. As part of its plans to help people affected by the climate crises and the socio-economic effects of COVID-19, the JRC connected to the CCCD through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). “In our discussions with the CCCD, we realized that the drought and water scarcity that existed, coupled with the reduced income generation due to COVID-19, compounded the food crisis, pushing them to produce more for themselves,” said Leiska Powell, JRC project manager. “But to do that, they needed assistance to manage their water for improved and increased production. We wanted to find a way to help them do this.” Climate-smart farming To get things done, the JRC contracted a local company that provides alternate energy solutions to install the solar water pump and provided four, 1,000-gallon water tanks to help facilitate additional water storage. The initiative involved building a ramp to house the four water tanks and installing a solar water pump to move the water from the current catchment tank to the new storage drums to supply the greenhouse with water. John Meeks, social enterprise officer at the CCCD, noted that this partnership with the Red Cross marks the first step in their strategic bid to develop a climate-resilient and climate-smart agricultural programme. “Without irrigation, we can’t plant or raise animals,” he says. “This initiative, therefore, provides a key step in the right direction and will allow us to expand our crop production from 2-3 acres to up to 10 acres, because we now have the irrigation system in place.” The next phase of the initiative will see the JRC collaborating with RADA to offer climate smart agriculture training to students and staff of the CCCD to further build their capacity in sustainable agriculture and water management. There are also plans to expand the climate smart agriculture initiative to the other CCCD campuses, once additional funding is secured. The partnership also now forms a central part of activities undertaken through the COVID-19 climate-smart livelihoods recovery initiative, conducted by the JRC and supported by the IFRC, added Keisha Sandy, IFRC technical officer for climate and environmental sustainability for the Caribbean. “The Red Cross network is committed to helping people in communities make the transition from immediate recovery to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, to long-term climate smart livelihood solutions geared towards increasing the sustained resilience of the communities we serve,” Sandy says.

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Climate of migration: Climate crisis and conflict push more people to drought-stricken Djibouti

“Gargaar” is a local Somali word used in Djibouti to express community solidarity. Evident throughout the country, gargaar means communities are hospitable and welcoming, ready to host and help anyone they encounter. With fighting and insecurity in neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia, more people are coming into Djibouti and so gargaar is on full display in many communities across the country. But with the area also going through one of the worst series of successive droughts in history, it’s clear that much more must be done to meet the mounting needs of people hit by the combined impacts of conflict, migration and climate change. Most travel more than 500 kilometres by foot, some continuing to the Gulf countries such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia across the Red Sea. The arduous and long journey, through harsh heat, across wild terrain and over rough seas, bears a heavy toll on men, women, and children. Many die along the way. ‘By God’s grace we have made it here,” says Fatouma, who came to Chekeyti, in southwestern Djibouti, from Ethiopia with her two young children. She is exhausted and her baby is restless from fatigue. They walked over 600 kilometres in unimaginable heat, through a landscape full of hyenas and snakes, and always in danger of harassment. “I had no choice; life was unbearable because of the clashes in Afar-Somali region and the lack of food because of drought,” she explains. “I heard life is better and more peaceful in Djibouti. We walked for days. Some days the thirst was unbearable. My children came very close to death. Some of the people we were with did not make it.” The community in Chekyeti welcomed them to settle and even use their water from a ‘barkaad’ (an underground water reservoir) nearby. When Djibouti Red Crescent in a recent assessment asked the community leader the most vulnerable households to receive cash distribution, they did not hesitate to also nominate the Ethiopian migrants living among them. This shows how deep rooted gargaar is in Djibouti, despite the host communities being themselves stretched of resources such as food and water. Successive droughts in the last decade means that many Djiboutian pastoralists have lost their livestock and livelihoods and have found themselves internally displaced, impoverished and dependent on humanitarian assistance. To ‘die trying’ The generosity of strangers therefore can be a critical lifeline and the Djibouti Red Crescent Society (DRCS) plays a critical role, reaching out to people at critical points in their journey when they are most vulnerable. Young men, some not more than thirteen years old, undertake the journey unaware of the dangers ahead. Family members back in Ethiopia invest all their life savings so these young people can search for a better life. As a result, the migrants cannot bear to turn back and be seen as failures. They often say they would rather ‘die trying’. The DRCS therefore has endeavored to bring services through mobile units that meet many of these young men, women and children out on the migration routes. Using only one vehicle, a driver and volunteers, the Red Crescent here has assisted more than 7,000 migrants within seven months through first aid, water, energy dry food, family links and psychosocial support. These mobile units and humanitarian service points offered lifesaving interventions in both the northern and southern parts of Djibouti’s key migration route. Unfortunately, DRCS had to stop this operation due to lack of resources. “The situation of drought-induced hunger is alarming,” says Amina Houssein, the secretary general of DRCS. “Unemployment and low levels of social protection, along with rising food prices and very low levels of food production means families are likely to go by with just a meal a day.” “The incidences of floods, high heat, droughts, as well as the prevalence of diseases and shocks have hit rural communities the hardest,” Hussein adds. “Our priority actions have been lifesaving basic needs assistance through multipurpose cash assistance, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene for human and animal consumption.” Through a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, or DREF, allocation from IFRC in August, the DRCS has been able to deliver assistance to 45,000 people. But the needs are still enormous. Projections from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification indicate that around 285,000 people, representing 24 percent of the total Djibouti population, will be acutely food insecure, and around 100,000 people will be in emergency food insecurity, by the end of the year. More than 30,000 children under 5 years of age are also expected to face acute malnutrition this year. Dire need of support A small National Society of just 37 staff, five branches and some 1,000 volunteers, DRCS is committed to doing the most with its incredibly stretched resources. With availability of funds, DRCS would like to revive its Mobile Humanitarian Service Points assistance to migrants, including those who entered the country outside legal channels. Such “irregular migrants”, as they are often called, face high vulnerability to economic exploitation by smugglers, abuse, physical and/or gender violence, potential for disease transmission, poor humanitarian conditions and loss of life. But these are not the only challenges the National Society faces. Recent sudden floods, mostly in the highlands of neighbouring Ethiopia, has also displaced more Djiboutians and left some communities completely cut off. “With the predicted El-Nino set to happen end of the year, we will need more help to mitigate the effects of flooding in this area,” says Mohamed Abass Houmed, governor of the Tadjourah region, which faces high risk of continued flooding. “Our biggest disadvantage is the poor shelter and road network especially in remote communities. In the event of a flood, some already vulnerable communities will be cut off”. Surviving with cash support and charcoal As part of its hunger crisis respone, the Djibouti Red Crescent distributed cash to a targeted 1,500 households. In one locality, they were able to do so through mobile money transfers. Meanwhile, families are doing whatever they can to survive. For most, the three rounds of cash distribution, which they used mostly for food and medicine, were not enough. To adapt to the erratic weather patterns and make ends meet, most communities abandoned pastoralism and farming and resorted to charcoal burning. Cutting down of trees for charcoal, however, inadvertently worsens conditions and increasing their climate risk. “Ask any community here in Djibouti what is their greatest need — you will get a resounding call for water,” says DRCS’s Houssein. “With the availability of funds, we at DRCS would additionally like to support communities through water rehabilitation projects, as well as tree planting as a mitigation measure for future climatic shocks.”

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Homa Nader: Bringing hope to the people of Afghanistan

In this episode, we explore the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan with Homa Nader, Manager of Strategic Engagement and Partnership in the IFRC country office in Kabul. Four years of drought, economic sanctions and the legacy of conflict are just a few of the factors that have left some 34 million Afghans facing extreme hardship. We spoke with Homa about the daily challenges for average Afghans, theparticular difficulties for women, and about the critical and inspiring work of Red Crescent volunteers in helping people cope.

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Mahabub Maalim: Planting hope amid a hunger crisis in Africa

A regional leader in the fight against food insecurity in Africa, Mahabub Maalim knows first-hand the impact that hunger has on people and communities. Growing up in eastern Kenya, he’s seen how cycles of drought, crop loss and hunger have become more frequent and more severe. He’s dedicated his life to helping communities develop local solutions and he now serves as special advisor to IFRC’s response to the current hunger crisis in Africa (now impacting 23 countries).

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Afghanistan: Intensified support critical amid deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation

Kabul/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 15 August – Economic hardships have sharply intensified living conditions in Afghanistan. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for continued humanitarian support to Afghanistan, coupled with investment in long-term solutions. More than two years after drought began affecting the region, nearly 28 million Afghans – both in cities and remote areas – struggle to meet basic needs. Economic hardships and continuous shocks have greatly diminished buying power, making many reliant on humanitarian assistance. Mawlawi Mutiul Haq Khales, Afghan Red Crescent Society Acting President, said: “The economic situation remains challenging for vulnerable Afghans, including women and girls. They have endured immense hardships and primarily rely on humanitarian assistance to get through shocks brought by drought, natural disasters, and economic hardship.” “Thanks to generous support from our local and international partners, the Afghan Red Crescent has expanded its response operation across all provinces in the first half of this year, aiming to prevent worsening humanitarian situations.” With the support of local and international partners, the Afghan Red Crescent has reached more than 500,000 households (approximately 3.5 million people) with a range of services. These include 3 million people with health services and awareness, more than 100,000 households (around 700,000 people) with food assistance, and at least 35,000 households (around 245,000 people) with cash assistance. “Now, due to reduced funding and increasing demand for services, we are prioritizing assistance to the most vulnerable. This includes providing cash assistance for widows, offering mental health and psychosocial support, and supporting children with congenital heart defects. For this, we request our partners to bolster their contributions,” Mawlawi Mutiul Haq Khales added. Afghanistan is grappling not only with its third consecutive year of drought but also with economic hardships that exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian situation. The current trend of foreign aid, primarily limited to humanitarian interventions due to sanctions or lack of international recognition of the current authorities, hinders long-term solution efforts. Necephor Mghendi, IFRC’s Head of Delegation for Afghanistan, said: “The humanitarian situation is becoming harsher, and we are increasing our support to the Afghan Red Crescent—with limited financial resources—to alleviate conditions for people most at risk, keeping in mind the need to combine immediate assistance with durable solutions that also address root-causes and vulnerabilities.” “We can’t address the humanitarian situation without investing in longer-term development solutions or addressing the economic crisis. They are intrinsically linked.” “As some parts of the world also grapple with man-made and natural hazards, people should not forget that Afghanistan is still facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Though headlines might emphasize a few issues, the vast array of needs remain.” The IFRC and Afghan Red Crescent are increasing preparedness for the upcoming winter and ever-present potential disasters. Stocks of winterization kits, tarps, tents, water storage containers, hygiene supplies, cooking utensils, and other essential household items are being pre-positioned in strategic locations across the country. Furthermore, Afghan Red Crescent disaster response teams are being equipped with updated data collection kits, identification materials, and refresher training. The Afghan Red Crescent Society has a branch in each province of the country, boasts a strong network of 24,600 volunteers, including women who are crucial to delivering services to vulnerable groups, especially women and girls. Community members – men, boys, women, and girls – remain central to the efforts of the Red Cross and Red Crescent: as recipients, designers, and deliverers. To support the Afghan Red Crescent, the IFRC revises its emergency appeal to the international community for 120 million Swiss francs to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to over two million people affected by multiple crises. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Afghanistan: Mir Abdul Tawab Razavy, +93-747-407-027, [email protected] Kuala Lumpur: Afrhill Rances, +60-192-713-641, [email protected] Geneva:Mrinalini Santhanam, +41763815006,[email protected]

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South Sudan food insecurity: “Holding on to hope the rains will not fail”

Kapoeta, South Sudan has seen a drastic change in recent times. As residents walk by in the hustle and bustle of this small, rural town, you can see it in their faces: fatigue, most likely from hunger. This is the second failed rainy season for a community that depends on cultivating crops. As I drive by local farmers’ fields, nearly all the crops I see are dry and struggling. Andrea Loteng, 64, shows me around his farm. He’s the chairman of the local farmers’ association in Kapoeta South county and shares how erratic this year’s weather patterns have been. “The rains this year came a little early in March. I planted maize and sorghum but the rains disappeared in May. I lost over 5 acres of crops. Now that it’s raining in July, I planted again, this time holding on to hope the rains will not fail,” he explains. Anyuon Malwan, Area chief of Atarabara, Kapoeta South also describes the situation as dire: “This is the second round of maize I am planting this year that is now failing. At least last year I harvested once.” Some farmers have reached breaking point and abandoned farming altogether, turning to mining for gold instead. Travelling long distances, they camp at mines for weeks on end to try their luck at collecting a few grams of gold in the local streams. If they do get lucky, a gram can fetch around 50 US dollars. But this livelihood, too, is risky and highly dependent on the rainy season. Soaring food prices Failed harvests in much of the Horn of Africa, coupled with the international armed conflict in Ukraine and regional conflict, have led the price of grain and cereal in Kapoeta to increase drastically. “In 2021, we used to buy a kilo of maize flour at 300 South Sudanese Pounds (34 US cents), today the same packet goes for 1,300 (1.5 US dollars),” says Anyuon. Unable to cope with the inflation, many residents in the area have resorted to more affordable cereals, such as sorghum. Those who cannot afford grain at all are forced to scavenge for wild leaves in nearby forests. Children’s lives at risk This poor diet is having devastating consequences for children in the Kapoeta region. Yaya Christine Lawrence is a nurse at a stabilization centre for malnutrition in Kapoeta Civil Hospital. She attends to 3-year-old Lolimo, who was admitted on 22 July with severe oedema (swelling in the ankles, feet and legs) from poor nutrition. “When Lolimo came he was in a really bad state. We have been giving him treatment to clear the fluids before we can now start building up his weight. His case is one of the many hundreds we see in a month.” Lolimo’s mother, Joska, is a single parent and doing her best to raise him, but times are hard. “All I can afford to give him occasionally is sorghum and wild leaves. I have no source of livelihood to offer him a better diet,” she says. Supporting the most vulnerable Women-headed households are bearing the brunt of food insecurity in this part of South Sudan. The Kapoeta region is hardest hit with, with more than 274,000 people classed as severely food insecure. The South Sudan Red Cross (SSRC) recently conducted a needs assessment in the area, giving priority to women-headed households and people with disabilities, with a view to distributing cash to help them boost their livelihoods and put food on the table. Supported by the IFRC and the Japanese government, the SSRC is also actively training community members in Kapoeta in disaster preparedness, including early warning for drought and floods, in groups called Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT). To mitigate the negative effects of climate change, SSRC volunteers are also planting fruit trees, and distributing seedlings, in Juba and other branches across the country as part of its ‘green fund’ initiative. Mango and guava trees are more resistant to drought and only take a few years to start bearing fruit, so will provide a more reliable source of nutrients to local communities. “The needs related to food insecurity in Kapoeta region and South Sudan are great. If we can strengthen localized response capacity and the community structures, we can address the enormous and unprecedented level of humanitarian needs because of the frequency and intensity of climate-related hazards,” says John Lobor, Secretary General of South Sudan Red Cross. “Beyond responding to immediate food needs, we hope to build resilience, so families don’t have to grapple with climatic shocks year in, year out,” he adds. -- Click here to learn more about the IFRC’s response to the current hunger crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. And to support people like Andrea, Anyuon and Joska, please donate to our Emergency Appeal today.

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Angola food crisis: ‘Because of hunger I am here’

With her baby wrapped snugly around her back, Usenia Semaneli braves the Kunene River on foot, supported by nothing but a walking stick. “Crocodiles live in those waters,” she says, “but you stop fearing anything. When you are hungry, you just choose to cross.” “When I was young, we used to get good rain,” says Usenia, who takes a break from her journey to share her story. Exactly how many people have made the trek from Angola to Namibia in the last few years is unclear. People have crossed the border for years to visit relatives, buy or sell goods. But in 2020 and 2021 it’s estimated thatat least 3,000 people from Angola were living in various encampments and host communities around border towns in northern Namibia. They came from various parts of Angola and from different tribes, but they tell a similar story. No rain. Failed crops. Livestock gone. A long perilous journey to Namibia. The troubles began in 2020, as dryness persisted through what would normally be the rainy season, which typically runs from November to April.Many of those most affected are children, lactating mothers, and the elderly. “We ate just a little bit every day, but all the children started to get weak,” says Usenia. “When you spend so many days without food it’s like you are confused. You lose control of your mind and everything is just turning around in front of your eyes.” Deolinda We used to walk during the day and at sunset we went to sleep,” saysDeolinda, who made a ten-day trek to Namibia with her granddaughter Venonyaand some other children. “Food was a big challenge throughout the journey. We didn’t have any food but we had to keep on walking. It was tough for me because I was traveling alone with the children. The journey was difficult, but I received help from people who carried my children… Not knowing whether the baby would survive or even make it, I was hoping for the best but also preparing myself for the worst”, she says. “When we arrived, Venonya was severely malnourished, so we took her to Outapi Hospital,” says Deolinda. “At first, when I arrived at the hospital I was scared because I feared that the baby would die. It was difficult to even find a vein to put a drip in the child, so I was scared. After a while, my baby got better and I started to feel calmer. We returned to the camp only a week ago with Venonya recovered, she stayed in the hospital for a week and a half.” Mwandjukatji “It took us almost ten days traveling, walking,” says Mwandjukatji, who found her way to a camp for migrants close to the town of Omusati, near Namibia’s northwestern border with Angola. “On the way,some of my daughters lost their children. Sometimes when we woke up we tried giving the children some water but they wouldn’t open their mouths, they died on the way. We had to leave them behind.” They knew the journey would be perilous, but staying in the end was not an option. “For a time, we debated what to do, and for a long while, we refused to leave our land,” she says. “But the hunger was growing unbearable. Because of that hunger, we decided to go to Namibia. We thought maybe we will survive there.” Mwandjukatji found temporary respite in a shelter she made using sticks, cardboard and plastic. There, she got by on food provided by local agencies and relief groups such as theNamibian Red Cross. “We heard that there was a camp where they were giving food to people like us who came from Angola,” says Mwandjukatji. “We receive some food and that is an enormous relief for us, because if we weren’t here most of our children would die.” “This shelter is not as strong, not the same, as our home. For our homes, we used to use strong sticks and sand mixed with cow dung, plus we had a fire inside the house. This is not the same. We can’t have a fire inside, and when it rains, the water seeps in. But here we have food at least.” Konguari The migrants saythe kindness of strangers has been critical to their survival, be it local leaders who let them stay on their land, government authorities, the Namibian Red Cross, or local residents who offered various kinds of support. The man in a blue shirt above, named Konguari, ran a garden hose from houseto give out water every evening. “In Opuwo, it is not uncommon to see people, usually men, coming from Angola looking for work. When I saw many women and children arriving, I knew something wasn’t right. I noticed that, although they were hungry, they were growing desperate for water. Very often they went in the field walking for hours to get wood that they sold in the market. With the money they got from the firewood they immediately bought water. When I saw this, I said to myself, ‘no, this isn’t right. Could it be possible for me to assist these people?’” A steady source of support The Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS)has also been a steady source of support, providing food, water, health and hygiene support. A significant proportion of the people they helped have been children: of the4,027 people assistedin the Etunda and Opuwo areas of Kunene region last year, more than half were between 1 and 16 year old. More than 400 were lactating or pregnant women. The NRCS is one of numerous Red Cross of Red Crescent National Societies working on the frontlines of climate-related displacement,according to a 2021 climate displacement report by the IFRC. Their work includes responding to crises and building resilience to future shocks by preparing for and reducing climate risks. Around the world, floods, storms, wildfires, landslides, extreme temperatures and drought have caused the displacement of 30.7 million people, according to the report. “Our government tries its best to help the immigrants from Angola, and different organisations also try to help,” says Rijamekee, a Namibian Red Cross volunteer who lives in Northern Namibia and provides displaced people and vulnerable local residents with food, water, and health and hygiene support. “Anyone, who is out there should try their best to help these people. And not only the Angolans but anyone who is in need”, he says. Mekondo Climate change does not affect everyone equally. Children, the elderly, people with physical disabilities and other vulnerable and marginalized people are hit the hardestbecause climate change compounds the challenges they already face. “For the most part I crawled until I reached Namibia,” says Mekondo, who made his way from Angola to Namibia on his hands and knees. “I wore double pants until they peeled and tore at the knees. For my hands I used a pair of sandals so that I could crawl on the pavement.” “Although I feel well here because I have food, I feel bad for my mother who is still in Angola. I left her under the care of another person, but they were also hungry and were looking for food. I don’t know what to do because I don’t have money and I can’t crawl back all the way through that difficult journey, so I don’t feel well thinking about my mother living there without any food.” Returning home? Recent rainfalls have allowed many of the migrants to return to Angola, while others remain in host communities in northern Namibia. But the risk is far from over. The recentrainfalls come late in what is normally the rainy season, and they weren’t nearly enough to sustain a season of crops. But people remain hopeful as many of these 21stcentury climate migrants have missed their homes and always wanted to return as soon as possible. “I miss home,” says Mwandjukatji. “But the problem is that if we went home we would always be worried about what we were going to eat that day. When the hunger started there we sold our hoes and all the tools that we used to cultivate in order to get food. So now we don’t have those things and if we return we don’t have tools to cultivate. How are we going to get those tools to start again?” -- This story was produced and originally published by the Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine. To learn about the Magazine, and to read more stories like this,click here.

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7 disasters in the Americas in 2023 that you may not have heard about

Disasters and crises happen all the time around the world. Some make international headlines – like the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria or the international armed conflict in Ukraine – but others go unheard of to people outside the countries where they strike. These smaller, lesser-known disasters still claim lives, destroy livelihoods, and set entire communities back. The Americas region alone has faced many small and medium-sized disasters so far this year. But while these disasters may have gone unnoticed to the wider world, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the region have been there – right by the side of communities. The IFRC has supported – getting money to our National Societies quickly through our Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) so they can prepare and respond effectively. Let’s take a look at seven disasters in the Americas you may not have heard about from the first half of 2023, and how the IFRC network has supported the people affected. 1. Chile - forest fires: In Febuary 2023, strong winds and high temperatures caused dozens of forest fires across central and southern Chile, leading to casualties and widespread damage. They followed earlier, destructive forest fires in December 2022 that spread rapidly around the city of Viña del Mar. With DREF funding, the Chilean Red Cross provided support to more than 5,000 people affected by the fires over the following months. Staff and volunteer teams provided medical support to communities and distributed cash so that people could buy the things they needed to recover. More information. 2. Uruguay - drought: Uruguay is currently experiencing widespread drought due to a lack of rainfall since September 2022 and increasingly high temperatures in the summer seasons—prompting the Uruguayan government to declare a state of emergency. The government officially requested the support of the Uruguayan Red Cross to conduct a needs assessment of the drought, so it could understand how it was impacting people and agricultural industries. With funding from the DREF, Uruguayan Red Cross teams headed out into the most-affected areas to speak to more than 1,300 familiesabout the drought’s impact on their health, livelihoods and access to water. Their findings are helping the government to make better-informed decisions on how to address the drought, taking into account the real needs of those affected. This is the first time DREF funding has been used to support a damage assessment in this way. More information. 3. Paraguay - floods: In February and March 2023, heavy rains in northern Paraguay caused severe flooding—forcing many families to abandon their homes and paralyzing key infrastructure and industries. The Paraguayan Red Cross responded, providing first aid and psychosocial support to people in temporary shelters. Volunteers also shared information with communities on how to protect themselves from water-borne diseases and from the increase in mosquitoes. More information. 4. Ecuador - floods, earthquake, and landslides: In the first quarter of 2023, Ecuador was struck by several, simultaneous disasters—floods, landslides, building collapses, hailstorms and an earthquake—that put the Ecuadorian Red Cross to the test. Their volunteers deployed quickly provided wide-ranging support to people affected--including shelter, health care, water, sanitation and cash assistance. They also conducted surveys to understand exactly how people had been affected, and what they most needed to recover. More information. 5. Argentina - floods: In June, heavy rains caused flash flooding in the municipality of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, affecting an estimated 4,000 families. The flooding caused power outages, road closures and a contamination of water supplies—prompting the local authorities to request the support of the Argentine Red Cross. Volunteer teams quickly mobilized to provide first aid and psychosocial support to people who had moved to evacuation centres in the area. In the coming weeks and months, the Argentine Red Cross – with DREF funding – will provide shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene support to 500 of the most vulnerable families affected by the floods. More information. 6. Haiti floods: Flash floods also struck Haiti in early June following an exceptionally heavy rainstorm that swept the entire country. Though not classified as a cyclone or tropical downpour, the rainstorm nonetheless affected thousands of families, claimed more than 50 lives and submerged entire houses. The Haitian Red Cross quicklydeployed rescue workers to provide first aid and assist with evacuations. Working alongside Movement partners, and with DREF support, they’ve also been distributing mattresses, shovels, rakes, hygiene kits, water treatment kits and plastic sheeting. In a country already experiencing a cholera epidemic, Haitian Red Cross volunteers continue to share important information with communities about how to stay healthy and adopt good hygiene practices—especially important due to the increased risk from flood waters. More information. 7. Dominican Republic - floods: This same rainstorm in Haiti also affected communities across the border in the Dominican Republic, causing flash flooding in the country’s west. The Dominican Red Cross has been providing humanitarian assistance in the form of search and rescue, evacuation, health and hygiene services, psychological first aid and restoring family links (RFL) services. More information. -- These are just a few examples of the many disasters that have hit the Americas so far this year. With DREF support, Red Cross Societies across the region have been able to respond quickly to these disasters—providing effective and local humanitarian assistance directly to those who need it. If you would like to help our network to continue responding to smaller disasters like these, please consider donating to our Disaster Response Emergency Fund today.

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Somalia: Tackling malnutrition amid the drought

Across the Horn of Africa, people are entering their sixth rainy season without rain. For the last two and a half years the water that fills community water points, nourishes livestock, and grows vegetables, has not flowed. Surface water is gone and the sometimes green environment is dry and dusty. The ongoing drought, paired with conflict and rising food prices, has led to food insecurity, displacement, and the death of livestock. This, in turn, affects people's livelihoods and health, and leads to malnutrition. Across the country, Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) teams run static and mobile health clinics that serve rural and remote communities in hard to reach areas. These clinics provide basic health care and routine immunizations, as well as screening for malnutrition and providing nutritional support. The staff refer severe cases of malnutrition to larger medical centres and hospitals. In recent months, Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) teams have reported seeingincreasing numbers of children with malnutrition who need nutritional support. Here are some of the families they've been helping. Basra Ahmed Cabdale, brought her children to a Somali Red Crescent Society clinic near Borama to be screened for malnutrition. Her daughter, 3-year-old Nimco Adbikadir Hassan, was found to be moderately malnourished. Cabdale said that before the drought, her family would eat tomatoes and onions with sorghum and maize. They would also have milk and meat from their animals. However, without water, crops aren’t growing, livestock is dying and they need to sell off their animals to buy food and necessities at the local market. “Our biggest worry is the loss of our animals and the lack of food,” she said. “It takes two hours [to walk to the water point] and we have to form a long queue to get it.” Halima Mohmoud Abah visited the Somali Red Crescent Society clinic in a village near Berbera with four of her children. She was worried about the weight of her baby and her daughter Mardiye Abdullahi Ali, 4. While Mardiye had her height, weight, and arm circumference measured, Halima talked about some of her concerns. “There is a drought, water for livestock has been limited and there's not enough for crops,” she said. When Mardiye’s results come in, she is borderline malnourished. “I am worried for the health of the children,” she said. “If it continues, it will result in bad things... death, of animals and humans.” In the Somali Red Crescent Society clinic in Burao, the staff make sure all children who are acutely or moderately malnourished receive a high-calorie nutritional supplement – Plumpy'Sup or Plumpy'Nut. Children like Maslah Yasin Usman get their first supplement in the clinic, and their mothers are given enough to take home. His mother, Farhiya Abdi Ahmed, is one of many mothers who bring their children into this clinic in for screening. -- Somalia is one of many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa currently contending with one of the worst food crises in decades. The IFRC is supporting National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the region, including the Somali Red Crescent Society, to protect the lives, livelihoods and prospects of millions of people. Find out more about our Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal.

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Somalia: Likelihood of famine will increase by an estimated 25 per cent if displaced people don’t get the help they need

Nairobi/Geneva, 19 December 2022 - Somalia’s worst drought in 40 years is forcing more and more people to leave their homes in search of food security and greener pastures for livestock. Without special attention to displaced people, the likelihood of famine will increase by about 25 percent, according to estimations by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The ongoing hunger crisis in Somalia does not yet meet the threshold for a famine categorization, according to the latest report by theIntegrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)—the international organization responsible for monitoring global hunger—but the situation is likely worsen in the coming months. IPC forecasts famine between April and June 2023 in parts of Somalia. Mohammed Mukhier, IFRC’s regional director for Africa explained: “Displacement is one of the four major factors, or ‘threat multipliers for famine’, in Somalia. The other three factors include worsening drought, increasing food prices and fighting. Addressing the unique needs of displaced people efficiently will reduce the probability of famine significantly.” Over one million people have been forced to leave their homes as the hunger crisis rages—and this number is expected to rise. The increasing number of displaced people in already overcrowded temporary settlements will limit access to clean water, sanitation, nutrition and health services. Further, although some displaced people live with their friends and relatives, this arrangement puts additional strain on host families, who share their limited food reserves with guests. Providing displaced people with tailormade humanitarian assistance is one of the most efficient ways of protecting host families from slipping into hunger themselves, while at the same time ensuring people on the move meet their nutritional needs. Bringing humanitarian assistance to families who are continually on the move is one of the greatest challenges aid workers face. One of the methods used by Somali Red Crescent teams, supported by the IFRC, is to reach nomadic communities with mobile clinicsto provide basic health services in remote regions of the country. Some of the urgent actions needed to reduce the likelihood of famine include the strengthening of health and nutrition services, cash assistance and shelter. Mukhier added: “We reiterate our call to prioritize the growing hunger crisis in Somalia, the country’s worst drought in 40 years. As an organisation, our focus is on displaced people, because of our unique ability to reach them with assistance.” The Somali Red Crescent Society has a countrywide network of branches and a large number of volunteers in all parts of the country. It also has a wide network of health facilities. Red Crescent teams’ focus is on delivering cash to families to meet their food, health and other urgent needs. Cash gives people the freedom to choose what they need most to help their families stay healthy and is more convenient for nomadic communities who would otherwise need to carry in-kind aid with them as they move. According to IPC, the April-June 2023 rainy season is likely to be below normal and there is a 62 per cent probability that cumulative rainfall will be within the lowest tercile. This will represent the sixth season of below-average rainfall. Food prices will also remain high, and insecurity will limit access to markets and will impede humanitarian assistance. Displaced people will be among the most affected. For more information, please contact: In Nairobi: Euloge Ishimwe, +254 735 437 906, [email protected] In Dakar: Moustapha DIALLO, +221 77 450 10 04 [email protected] In Geneva: Jenelle Eli, +1 202 603 6803 [email protected]

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