International NGOs Appeal for Emergency Aid for Drought-hit East Africa

A dry water pan exposes cracked earth in Kenya. Three million people experience severe drought in Kenya. Photo by: Kenneth Odiwour / IRIN

Several international non-governmental organizations have launched emergency aid appeals for East Africa, where some 10 million people are in urgent need of food aid as the region experiences one of its worst droughts in decades.

The appeals were announced as Valerie Amos, the top U.N. aid official, urged donors to “dig deep” to assist the millions of people affected by the drought.

“The scale of the problem is much greater than we had anticipated last year. We need the money very quickly as children and some adults are turning up in refugee camps malnourished,” Amos told the Guardian.

The United Nations appealed last year for $500 million to address food security issues in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya and $30 million for Djibouti. The $500 million appeal is only 50 percent funded while the Djibouti appeal is just 30 percent funded, the Guardian notes.

The new aid appeals launched by NGOs on Tuesday (July 5) are largely focused on raising money to provide immediate water, food and sanitation aid to drought-hit people in the region.

Oxfam International is appealing for $80 million to be able to provide food, clean water and basic sanitation items to 3 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, while Save the Children is asking for 40 million pounds ($64.23 million) to boost its ongoing humanitarian efforts in the region. Other organizations that issued their own appeals were ActionAid for 1.5 million pounds and Plan U.K. for 6.2 million pounds.

The British Red Cross also launched an East Africa food crisis appeal, while Muslim Aid issued an urgent emergency appeal for people in East Africa.

The United Kingdom earlier announced a 38 million pounds pledge for drought victims in Ethiopia.

>> UK Pledges Emergency Aid for Ethiopia, Yemen

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.