Oxfam launches 23 million East African hunger appeal

OXFAM has launched an emergency appeal to raise �9.5 million as more than 23 million people across East Africa, equivalent to one third of the UK population, are pushed towards severe hunger and destitution

OXFAM has launched an emergency appeal to raise �9.5 million as more than 23 million people across East Africa, equivalent to one third of the UK population, are pushed towards severe hunger and destitution

A severe and persistent five-year drought, deepened by climate change, is now stretching across seven countries in the region and exacting a heavy human toll, made worse by high food prices and violent conflict. The worst affected countries are Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda. Other countries hit are Sudan, Djibouti and Tanzania. Malnutrition is now above emergency levels in some areas and hundreds of thousands of cattle - people's key source of income - are dying. This is the worst drought that Kenya has experienced for a decade, and the worst humanitarian situation Somalia has experienced since 1991.

Ben Pickering, Oxfam's humanitarian coordinator, who grew up in the Southwest but is now based in Kampala, Uganda, says, "People are surviving on 2 litres of water a day in some places - less water than a toilet flush. The conditions have never been so harsh or so inhospitable, and people desperately need our help to survive."

"There is also the threat of the weather phenomenon El Ni�o in late October, which is likely to cause flash floods and further exacerbate concerns for food security," he continued.


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Oxfam staff are on the spot helping those at risk supplying emergency clean water and access to food and carrying out long-term projects to strengthen people's ability to cope with future shocks. The organisation is appealing for extra funds from the UK public to help meet the need. Oxfam urgently needs �9.5 million so that it can expand the aid effort to reach 750,000 people.

�1 will feed a family for one day.

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�5 will buy enough chlorine to clean a day's water for 40,000 people.

�20 pounds can feed one family for 20 days.

Helen Mirren, who is supporting the appeal, and has previously travelled to Uganda with Oxfam, said:

"I have visited Uganda and I saw then just how precious life is. It horrifies me that the people I met then are being caught up in this new catastrophe. I have seen how generous the British public can be, and how their generosity can make a huge difference to families in Africa struggling against the odds. We can turn things around and help these families - but we need to act now, before it is too late. Five pounds could support a family to get the food, cooking oil, and soap they need to survive for five days. It can bring a family back from the brink. "

People can donate by visiting www.oxfam.org.uk or at their local Oxfam shop or call 0300 200 1999

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