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How You Can Help Save Lives in Somalia and the Horn of Africa

Reaching Out to the Children Threatened by Famine


The humanitarian crisis in East Africa continues, but now there is a new awareness campaign by USAID and the Ad Council. The campaign includes a text-to-give component by which donations given through mobile phones go to a consortium of eight international aid organizations. Simply text "Give" to 777444 to donate $10.

Beyond texting a donation (limited to $10, which can be repeated several times), you can also donate larger amounts to any of the International Aid Agencies listed below. These are all working on the ground in East Africa to relieve the hunger of famine stricken families. They all have the best of reputations. And all will have an impact. This list is not all inclusive. You can find more charities at Charity Navigator, a charity rating agency.

For more information about charitable giving, see the following:

World Food Programme

Courtesy of World Food Programme

WFP is a United Nations agency that coordinates donations from both UN member countries and individual donors. It is leading the struggle to save lives in Somalia and over the border in Kenya where refugees are crammed into overcrowded refugee camps.

Donate online or use your mobile phone to text AID to 27722 to donate $10 (US donors). or RELIEF to 45678 (Canadian donors). or AID to 70303 (donors in the UK).

UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund)

Courtesy of UNICEF

UNICEF says on its website, "... almost 720,000 children are at risk of death without urgent assistance. In total 2.23 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are estimated to be acutely malnourished." The agency is engaging in a massive relief effort to help save these children.

Donate online. Text "FOOD" to UNICEF (864233) to donate $10--enough to feed a child for 10 days.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Courtesy of ICRC

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is on the ground in the drought afflicted areas, providing relief to thousands of displaced people.

A recent news release from ICRC reported, "The ICRC is active in all provinces of central and southern Somalia and able to carry out large-scale distributions. The budget extension will enable the ICRC to further expand its therapeutic feeding programmes and its food distributions to help people get by during the extremely difficult period until the next harvest in December. Some 49,000 malnourished children and 24,000 pregnant and lactating women will benefit from the supplementary and the therapeutic feeding programmes."

Donate online.


Courtesy of Oxfam

Oxfam is a highly regarded international relief agency. It is working throughout the horn of Africa to help with the current crisis, including providing water and sanitation to the overrun refugee camp in Kenya.

Oxfam recently reported on its website, "In Somalia, Oxfam is providing water and sanitation to more than 230,000 people on the outskirts of Mogadishu. The agency is also assisting over 60,000 who have fled drought zones of Southern Somalia and have arrived in the capital. Throughout Somalia, the agency is reaching over 500,000 people who benefit from various programs which include direct cash relief for displaced families, water and sanitation services, and cash for work projects amongst others."

Donate online.

Mercy Corps

Courtesy of Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps has operations in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, helping families survive the current crisis. The agency reports, "Mercy Corps team has more than tripled the number of northeast Kenyan villages in which we're delivering clean water to families. We're now providing lifesaving relief to 16 towns throughout drought-parched Wajir County, reaching more than 119,000 people." The organization has also helped more than 600,000 people survive the drought.

Donate online.

Doctors Without Borders

Courtesy of Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders is working hard to break through bureaucratic barriers in the refugee camps in Kenya in order to feed desperate children. Doctors Without Borders specializes in therapeutic feeding of at-risk adults and children.

Doctors Without Borders is currently treating 2,402 children in its ambulatory therapeutic feeding program and 130 children in its inpatient therapeutic feeding center. An additional 5,047 children with moderate acute malnutrition are enrolled in MSF's supplementary feeding program. There are now around 10,000 people in MSF's feeding program in the Dadaab camp.

Donate online.


Courtesy of CARE

CARE is helping more than 1 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya with lifesaving food, water, nutrition and other lifesaving emergency assistance.

Among other activities, CARE is working to ensure that new refugees have food while they await registration, CARE and WFP (World Food Programme) have increased the emergency rations distributed immediately upon arrival. Each family now receives enough wheat flour, cornmeal, beans, oil, sugar, salt and corn-soy blend to last for 21 days. In addition, CARE provides other essential items such as plastic sheets, bed mats, kitchen and eating sets, blankets and buckets.

Donate online

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Courtesy of International Rescue Committee

The IRC runs medical services at one of Dadaab's three camps, providing lifesaving care for thousands of Somali refugees, including many suffering from acute malnutrition.

In a recent update, IRC said, "...the International Rescue Committee is stepping up its aid effort across the region. IRC teams are also aiding tens of thousands of Somali refugees who are pouring into camps in Kenya and Ethiopia—many barely clinging to life. At IRC-run clinics and a field hospital in Dadaab, Kenya—the largest refugee camp in the world—the IRC is treating some 500 Somali refugees every day."

Donate online.

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