Emergency Response Program

Food & Water Crisis in Africa

The Situation in Brief

What You Need to Know

The current food and water crisis is one of the worst to hit Africa in decades. As a result of a severe drought, crops and livestock — the main food supply for this mostly agricultural region — have been destroyed. The result is that 20 million people are now either starving or dangerously undernourished in East Africa.

Local authorities in South Africa warn that dam and reservoir levels are dwindling and predict that public water supplies in Cape Town will run out by mid-April.

How the Drought Impacts Children

The food and water crisis is crippling families and making it near impossible for parents to adequately care for their children. As a result, children face a significant risk of being orphaned, abandoned or otherwise losing their parental care.

people in East Africa are facing starvation and malnutrition
children are at imminent risk of death this year from severe malnutrition
children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in Ethiopia need food aid
people will not have access to safe drinking water in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in 2017

SOS Children’s Villages Impact

How Supporters Like You Are Making a Difference

SOS Children’s Villages has been building stable, loving families for vulnerable children in East Africa for more than 40 years. As a result, we have deep roots in local communities that allow us to quickly identify and address the new and urgent needs of children and their families. Through the support of our donors, we are able to expand our services through special SOS Emergency Response Programs. We are currently supporting vulnerable children in the following drought-affected countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland and South Africa.

Protecting Vulnerable Children

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The food and water crisis has severely weakened families and compromised their ability to care for their children. As a result, children are at an increased risk of being orphaned, abandoned, forced into child labor, internally displaced, trafficked, and worse. SOS Children’s Villages is prioritizing the protection of these vulnerable children. We are setting up temporary shelters for children who have lost or been separated from their parents; childcare spaces where children can learn and play in a safe and fun environment; psychological support and referral services for medical care; and support in helping reunite children with their families.

Providing Food & Water Aid

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Food is the most urgent and critical need of children and families in East Africa. The drought has destroyed crops and killed livestock—the main food supply and revenue sources for millions of families—which in turn has left children and their family members starving or severely undernourished. In response, SOS Children’s Villages is providing food and drinking water to vulnerable families, including to thousands of at-risk families who participate in our existing SOS Family Strengthening Programs.

Medical Care and Nutrition Support

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1.4 million children are at risk of dying due to malnutrition. In addition, the lack of clean drinking water creates conditions for the spread of deadly diseases. In response, SOS Children’s Villages is identifying children who are malnourished or otherwise sick and either providing them medical care or connecting them to a local medical facility. In Somalia, we run a medical center, which has seen the number of patients dramatically increase due to the food crisis.

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