Recently, the British public has raised £50 million in just twenty-two days for the east African humanitarian crisis. The Britsih public’s immense efforts to help raise money for those on the brink of starvation has enabled aid agencies to increase their efforts to attend to those most affected by the hunger crisis.
In December, the British public started a Yemen appeal, in which they raised £22 million. The British public, in total, has raised £72 million for east Africa and Yemen, which is also including £15 million that the UK government contributed.
The chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee, Saleh Saeed said that the money that the Britsh public was able to accumulate will already be saving lives. Saeed said that the £50 million raised for east Africa will help provide millions of people across the region with food, water, and medical care over the duration of two years.
The world is currently facing the worst humanitarian crisis, since the end of the second world war, according to a UN official. 20 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, as they face famine in just four different countries. Stephen O’Brien, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the security council in New York last month that the lack of collective and coordinated global efforts will mean that “people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.” O’Brien urged that there needs to be immediate implementation of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria, as well as safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”
Famine was officially declared in South Sudan by the UN, who also warned that the other three countries, Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria, are also at a high risk of famine.
“DEC charities were working in east Africa before we launched our appeal,” said Saleh Saeed, “It has already allowed them to scale up their operations.” The DEC consists of the UK’s most established charities, in which they are currently directing their focus to east Africa, which is where aid and assistance are needed the most.
“We have reports about aid delivery making an immediate difference to the lives of affected communities,” said Saeed. “For example, Concern Worldwide is supporting children at the Weydow nutrition centre just outside Mogadishu in Somalia; Save the Children is supplying food, water and medical care to 40 of the most drought-affected communities in Ethiopia and Somalia; Oxfam is providing water and sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya; and British Red Cross has delivered emergency food supplies to thousands of people in South Sudan.”
The £50 million raised by the British public includes a £10 million aid match donation by the Department for International Development. The UK has planned for £100 million to be used for overseas aid each for South Sudan and Somalia this year.