World Vision declares hunger emergency in East Africa

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  • More than 3.5 million children suffering from severe malnutrition. 
  • 3.3 million displaced people living in total fragility in the region.
In Somalia, Saîd burns his goats that have died. After walking for more than 100 km, he still has difficulty finding enough water and food for him or his livestock.​ Photo/World Vision
(March 07, 2017)
MISSISSAUGA, ON – An emergency of the highest level has been declared in East Africa by World Vision as 22 million people in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia could face famine. 

The complex hunger crisis is driven by drought, conflict and poor governance and has left more than 3.5 million children suffering from severe malnutrition. Famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan, while hunger levels in other areas push them to the brink of famine.

At the same time the number of people displaced by conflict and the search for food has increased dramatically with more than 3.3 million displaced people living in total fragility in the region. As communities fracture, millions of children have abandoned schools and risk being separated from their families and exposed to violence. 

World Vision fears that this global crisis will stretch the humanitarian system like never before. The global aid system is already struggling a historic surge in migration, huge operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and more climate-related natural disasters than ever before.

The international aid organization is appealing for $92 million (U.S.) to scale up humanitarian response in these four countries. 


“People across East Africa are on the move, desperate to escape conflict or drought or both. Here in Somalia, I’ve spoken with nursing moms who speak of abandoning homes in search of water and food after months of watching their crops fail and livestock drop one-by-one to an exhausted death. The grim reality is that babies and elders are not far behind.” – Jamie McIntosh, Vice President of Programs & Policy for World Vision Canada

“Half the population of Somalia is in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Thanks to Canadian aid, World Vision has already been providing health care, clean water and other essential services to protect the most vulnerable women and children. We’ve also been providing emergency food to people who are on the brink of starvation. But as this crisis deepens and new arrivals swell displacement camps by the hour, more support is urgently needed to avert looming catastrophe and full scale famine.” – Jamie McIntosh, Vice President of Programs & Policy for World Vision Canada


- 22 million are in need of direct food assistance
- 8.8 million children are out of school due to the crisis
- 3.3 million refugees across East Africa 


Canadians can donate to hunger relief in East Africa through World Vision Canada’s website here