AID

Lifeline for children at risk as money runs low in East Africa

Friday 13 January 2012, 9:06AM
By Save the Children
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Save the Children has announced that its life-saving work in East Africa is at risk if more funding is not secured for 2012. While over 2.5 million people have already been reached by Save the Children since July 2011, much more money is needed if vital work throughout the region is to continue.

As the chronic effects of East Africa’s worst drought in 60 years remain, many of the 250,000 children being fed monthly by Save the Children are at risk of returning to malnutrition.

CEO of Save the Children New Zealand Liz Gibbs said generous New Zealanders had already helped the organisation raise over $470,000 for the millions of vulnerable children in East Africa – which will save lives and get children and their families the food, clean water and healthcare they so desperately need.

“However, we have reached a critical moment in our response. We desperately need more funds to keep our work going and build on what we’ve achieved in the last six months.

“This isn’t about expanding our operations – it’s about ensuring that children we’ve already helped don’t slip backwards into extreme hunger once again,” said Ms Gibbs.

Internationally, Save the Children is renewing calls for donations and is raising the emergency appeal for the region to NZ $250 million – double the amount raised so far.

The situation in East Africa is acute and a quarter of a million people face starvation this year. Millions of people, many of them farmers who lost all their livestock during the drought, remain dependent on the assistance of aid agencies like Save the Children. Ongoing conflict, rising food prices and severe drought have left parents unable to provide their children with the most basic needs of food and water.

As well emergency lifesaving work, Save the Children is also helping families throughout the region prepare for the future with agricultural tools and training and putting early-warning systems in place to help predict future droughts.

New Zealanders can donate to Save the Children New Zealand online at www.savethechildren.org.nz