SOURCE: World Concern

World Concern

March 16, 2017 09:00 ET

World Concern Responds to Drought Crisis in Somalia

Emergency Water Trucking and Cash Transfers Being Implemented

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - March 16, 2017) - Seattle-based humanitarian organization World Concern is responding to the worsening drought crisis in Somalia.

According to UNOCHA, 6.2 million people in Somalia -- half the population -- are facing acute food insecurity. Of these, nearly 3 million need urgent, life-saving assistance. The prolonged severe drought is raising fears of famine equal to or worse than the 2011 Horn of Africa famine that killed 260,000 people.

"We are gravely concerned about the worsening drought crisis unfolding right now in Somalia. This severe drought is threatening the lives of children and families who are in dire need of immediate assistance. Families have lost entire herds of livestock -- their only source of income, and are migrating in search of food and water," said World Concern President Jacinta Tegman. "World Concern has worked in Somalia for 35 years, and we're on the front lines of this disaster. We were there during the 2011 famine, and we're responding again now with emergency aid to those who are suffering. We ask for prayers and support to assist as many as possible."

World Concern is delivering emergency water to 10 communities, and cash transfers and emergency supplies to drought-affected families in the Sool and Sanaag regions of Somaliland. Eighty-four trucks, each carrying 8,000 liters of water, will deliver water to communities in urgent need. And more than 1,300 families will receive cash transfers to buy food and meet critical needs.

More than 360,000 children in Somalia are acutely malnourished. Two-year-old Saleban was visibly thin and had suffered from diarrhea for two-and-a-half months when World Concern staff discovered the toddler during an assessment of the village where his family is staying temporarily. The family traveled here in search of water and food after losing all of their animals to the drought, said his mother, Xaawo. World Concern helped Saleban get to the hospital, where he's receiving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. "We are very grateful to World Concern for their help and kindness that they have shown us by taking care of our son," said Xaawo.

Severely malnourished children under age 3, like Saleban, will receive emergency therapeutic nutrition from World Concern. Our Somalia team made a pledge this week that "No child will die on our watch," and are committed to doing everything possible to prevent child deaths from hunger in the communities World Concern is reaching. An urgent response from donors and the public is needed to help ensure this happens.

For on-the-ground interviews or more information, please contact Communications Director Cathy Herholdt, at 206-794-9775 or cathyh@worldconcern.org.

For more information on World Concern's programs or to donate, please visit www.worldconcern.org.

World Concern global relief and development organization extending life-saving help and opportunity to people facing the most profound human challenges of extreme poverty. Our areas of expertise include disaster response, clean water, education, food security, child protection, microfinance and health.

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