East Africa Emergency

A complex hunger crisis driven by drought, conflict and political instability has left over 25 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda in need of life-saving assistance.

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Drought conditions and recent flooding are causing food insecurity in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, while conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of hunger in South Sudan and displacement into Uganda.

Without urgent and immediate scale-up of international action, tens of thousands of children could starve as a result of food and water shortages across East Africa.

As of May 2017, drought conditions are affecting southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, northern and coastal Kenya and almost all of Somalia. In the worst drought-affected regions of Somalia, the late onset of the April to June rains means that famine could soon be a reality. Some 6.2 million people – half the country's population – need urgent assistance.

In South Sudan, a food crisis caused by conflict and political instability has been compounded by the upcoming lean season, with devastating effects on livelihoods and nutrition.

People are being forced to flee areas affected by conflict. As communities fracture and go in search of food and water, millions of children have been forced to leave school and risk being separated from their families. By May 2017, 895,000 South Sudanese refugees had moved south across the border into Uganda, which now hosts more than 1 million refugees, a number that is growing daily. 

While the underlying causes and aggravating factors of food insecurity are different in each country, one thing is common across the region: without a massive and urgent scale-up of action now, the situation will get much worse. The needs are great and a slow reaction will likely see hundreds of thousands of lives lost over the next six months.

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Funds raised for an emergency appeal are applied to the emergency response and for rehabilitation activities in the affected areas. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the emergency needs of the people in affected areas, or if there are changes in circumstances beyond World Vision's control that limit its ability to use all funds in the affected areas, World Vision will use the excess funds to help people in other emergency situations.

We are facing a race against time. Across East Africa, 25 million people urgently need humanitarian assistance.


million people

need water and sanitation support


million children

are suffering from acute malnutrition


million children

are out of school

In South Sudan, the world's newest nation, a food crisis has been caused by internal conflict and a depleted harvest.

5.5 million people are severely food insecure – a number that continues to grow.

South Sudan became an independent country on 9 July 2011, after its population voted in a January referendum to separate from its northern neighbour, Sudan.

Violence broke out in December 2013 between the government and opposition forces. Fighting has continued sporadically since then, despite multiple peace agreements, and millions of people have been forced to flee their homes.

Another outbreak of violence in July 2016, including in the capital Juba, led to the displacement of a further 60,000 people. To date, 3.6 million South Sudanese have fled their homes, and 895,000 of those are now in refugee settlements in neighbouring Uganda. That number is increasing by 2,800 people per day, and 58 percent of those refugees are children. 

A total of 7.5 million people – 60 percent of the country’s population – need humanitarian aid. 

In conflict areas, food assistance has become people's main source of food. But it isn't enough to meet all their needs, and acute malnutrition is now a major public health emergency. Almost 1 million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished and 270,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition.


World Vision's response in East Africa

We are responding now but urgently need support to scale up humanitarian assistance in the region. We must ensure children and their families are protected from a looming catastrophe before the window of opportunity to help closes.  

Our emergency response aims to provide humanitarian assistance to 2.7 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda over 12 months.  

We are aiming to meet the health, nutrition, child protection, livelihoods, shelter, education and water and sanitation needs of the most vulnerable children and their families across all these countries. Our ultimate goal is to help children survive, thrive and return to school.

Help provide urgent assistance to children and families facing food insecurity

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