August 30, 2011 15:34 ET

UNHCR Issues an Emergency Appeal for the Horn of Africa

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Aug 30, 2011) - Did you know that in the last three months, 30,000 children have died from drought and starvation in the Horn of Africa?

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has issued an emergency public service announcement (PSA) for the Horn of Africa. The High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, has called the famine in this war affected country, the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. The video invites viewers to contribute to UNHCR's urgent life saving efforts by donating any amount immediately.

The emergency PSA comes out at the same time as UNHCR's assessment of the four refugee camps in Ethiopia revealed death rates in Kobe camp reaching alarming levels. On average, 10 children under the age of five have died every day since the refugee camp opened in June.

UNHCR has asked for over $144 million in urgently needed aid for life saving emergency response and to provide shelter and protection. Of this, $8.6 million is slated for expanded aid projects inside Somalia. UNHCR is one of few organizations that has access and staff inside Somalia and has stated that delivering urgently needed humanitarian aid inside Somalia will save lives. To date, only 68% of the emergency appeal has been funded. Without continued funds, UNHCR's crucial work could be in jeopardy. UNHCR and its fundraising partners are urging Americans, if they can, to contribute to this crisis.

UNHCR has timed the release of the PSA to coincide with a visit this week of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to the Horn of Africa.

For just $10, a family is provided with 4 water containers. A donation of $50 provides therapeutic emergency feeding kits to 5 families and a donation of $345 covers the cost of a tent to shelter a family.

Donations of any amount can be made at, or individuals can text "Somalia" to 80000 to make a $10 donation. Donating any amount immediately to the US Association for UNHCR will support UNHCR's efforts in the Horn of Africa emergency. All gifts to USA for UNHCR are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Please download the 30 second PSA from the following links and help promote as widely as possible this urgent call for help to the American public.

Web version

SD Broadcast version

HD Broadcast version

YouTube Embed Code

Contact Information

  • For media inquiries contact:
    Charity Tooze
    Senior Communication Officer
    Ph. (202) 243-7623
    Cell. (510) 410-4937

    1775 K Street, NW
    Suite 300
    Washington, D.C. 20006