Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish people dig deep to raise over €1m for starving children in East Africa

Five year old *Yasmiin is screened by Hashim Jelle of Concern Worldwide, nutrition centre in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Five year old *Yasmiin is screened by Hashim Jelle of Concern Worldwide, nutrition centre in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Zainab Boladale

Irish people have raised over €1 million to help save starving children from dying in East Africa, charity Concern has revealed.

The Irish charity's Director of Public Affairs, Richard Dixon.“The Irish public have been helping us tackle extreme poverty and hunger since 1968 and now in 2017 the public continues to dig deep. We thank them and the Irish government most sincerely."

An ‘East Africa Appeal’ was  launched to help over 20 million people facing starvation in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

The €1.01 million received directly from the public is on top of the €4.06 million in emergency funding donated to Concern this year by the Irish government’s overseas development programme, Irish Aid, which is spent in countries like South Sudan.

“The declaration of famine and the fact that millions of children are facing starvation implores us to respond and to do what we can.” said Dixon

Famine has already been declared in South Sudan while Kenya and Ethiopia are experiencing serious food shortages.

“These crucial donations prevent children from dying due to a lack of food and water, the absolute basic necessities,” said Mr Dixon

In Somalia, 6.2 million people, more than half the country’s population, are in need of urgent food assistance.

Last month, Concern Worldwide’s Regional Director for the Horn of Africa, Carol Morgan, described the food emergency in Somalia as the worst she had ever seen.

“Every child I saw was malnourished,” she said referring to the starving children she saw dying on roads as they travelled to emergency feeding centres.

Concern Worldwide has over 1,200 staff in South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia providing life-saving support to 1.8 million people. As the crisis persists in East Africa, Concern is continuing to respond and fundraise.

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