Media release, 21 November 2022

Aid for people affected by drought in East Africa

East Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. As a result, 36 million people now depend urgently on humanitarian aid, in the absence of which, the famine is likely to grow more acute. Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER) is assisting people being impacted by drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa, especially in Ethiopia, and plans to scale up its aid there. In view of the National Day of Solidarity organized by "Swiss Solidarity" for 23 November, HEKS/EPER is supporting the appeal to the Swiss public for donations to help suffering people in East Africa.

Since the end of 2020, Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions in particular have been gripped by extreme drought, as the once regular rainy seasons have failed to materialize. Further exacerbated by ongoing climate change, the drought now poses an acute threat to the livelihood of millions of people in the Horn of Africa. The lack of rain is causing acute water and food shortages. Water supply systems are no longer working, very little clean drinking water is still available, and the poor hygiene conditions created by the lack of water constitute a breeding ground for life-threatening diseases.
Frau auf dem Feld
Meron Bailey

While the world hardly notices it, the catastrophic drought in the Horn of Africa is also jeopardizing people who rely on livestock farming and their own harvests. Over nine million farmed animals have already perished, and a further 22 million risk the same fate. The upshot is that the livelihoods of millions of people are no longer secure, and they are being forced to leave their homelands in search of water and food. Rising food prices resulting from poor harvests, and high commodity and fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine are compounding the hunger crisis even further.

HEKS/EPER offers aid in Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions

HEKS/EPER has been present in the region for some time now, in order to assist the affected people in coping with the water shortage. At the onset of the drought, HEKS/EPER arranged for water to be transported to outlying areas, and promoted the creation and restoration of water points in southern Ethiopia. Under the supervision of local veterinarians, feedstuffs and medicines were also prepared in order to preserve livestock. Further measures have been in place since April 2022, designed to provide clean water for people in the Borana and Dawa areas. HEKS/EPER has funded water and hygiene facilities at schools and these are protecting children from dangerous diseases. These measures have so far spared some 26,000 families the worst.

National Day of Solidarity organized by "Swiss Solidarity" on 23 November

As part of its National Day of Solidarity for East Africa on Wednesday 23 November, "Swiss Solidarity" is also appealing to the Swiss public for donations to help people in need and at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa.

Account for donations (IBAN): CH37 0900 0000 8000 1115 1. Please mention «Drought in East Africa»

 

Dieter Wüthrich
Head of Media and Information Department
Dieter Wüthrich

Phone: +41 44 360 88 66
Mobile: +41 76 461 88 70
E-mail: dieter.wuethrich@heks.ch