While public donations have flowed into aid agencies for the East Africa food crisis, the UN appeal to world governments remains under half funded and many rich countries have failed to deliver almost USD 400 million that they have promised.
In a further setback towards helping the millions of children suffering in the food crisis, the African Union has also recently announced that it is postponing its fundraising conference for the food crisis until August 25.
According to an MFAT spokesperson the New Zealand government’s contribution has been NZD 3 million, which is being distributed between the World Food Programme and other NGOs.
CEO of Save the Children New Zealand Liz Gibbs says the New Zealand government’s response has been positive but, for some other governments, the crisis is just one example of saying one thing and doing another.
“When millions of lives are at stake, governments must act. Millions of people’s lives depend on it and there is currently a shortfall of USD1.3 billion available cash for the UN appeal,” Ms Gibbs says.
“ Despite the huge aid effort underway, the scale of the disaster continues to worsen, with millions of children still facing starvation. If the international community continues to delay, the UN says more than a million children across East Africa are at risk of dying within weeks.”
Rachel Palmer, who is working for Save the Children at Dadaab in Kenya, says children are arriving every day in devastating conditions.
“Many haven't eaten or drunk anything for days. yet we can pull them back from the brink. We can save their lives – but there are many more we need to reach,” Ms Palmer says.
Save the Children is running a major life-saving response across East Africa, delivering food, water, medicine and crucial support to families who have lost their incomes. In Somalia alone we've reached more than 70,000 people with life-saving water and treated more than 8,000 malnourished children in our feeding centres. Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can phone Save the Children on 0800 1670168.