The Horn of Africa is suffering from the worst drought in 70 years. Harvests have failed and millions of cattle have perished. Livelihoods have been ruined, millions of children are malnourished, and people are dying from hunger.
This is the terrible reality faced by almost 20 million people in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia right now.
We are witnessing the devastating impact of climate change in real time. This region has barely seen a drop of rain since 2020, the most recent rainy season was the driest in decades. Droughts have now become more frequent and intense, leading critical water shortages and food prices spiralling out of control.
Millions of livestock have died, and people have begun to flee drought-hit villages to try to find food and water. Families are walking in scorching summer heat to reach camps where they can get aid. Many young children, the elderly, and vulnerable people have died from hunger and thirst on these journeys.
In Somalia alone, more than 1 million people – 66% of them children – have now fled their homes this year, and thousands more are being uprooted every single day.
Stories like Khadija’s are heart-breaking and far too common. Khadijah is a mother of 7 children, she is currently 9 months pregnant and due to give birth at any time. She travelled for three days, walking over 120km, with her two youngest children to search for food and water. She eventually reached a camp where she received enough basic food to survive for just one week. The camp does not have sanitation, clean water, electricity, or medical facilities.
Khadijah and her children are in a very precarious position, like millions of other women and children, they do not know where their next morsel of food or gulp of water will come from.
Urgent action is needed to prevent famine and mass deaths.
Islamic Relief is responding. So far, we have helped more than 167,000 people across the region, but much more is needed. We are providing people with food and cash, so that they can afford to buy food in local markets where it is available.
We are improving water supplies by repairing old or damaged boreholes and drilling new ones, repairing traditional community water storage pools, and trucking in clean water where there is no other option. We train health workers how to treat severely malnourished children, and support nutrition clinics.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have been able to help some of the most vulnerable people at this critical time, but the response needs to be scaled up. The world must not wait for famine to be declared before helping people who are starving right now.
Donate to our Horn of Africa Appeal today. Your donation could save lives.