East Africa has been in a protracted famine crisis for the past decade, but since late last year the situation has declined, with many regions classified in famine. With the change of seasons, the famine has subsided, but the wet weather brings with it a whole new range of problems and threatens food availability and the ability of governments and aid organisations to access those most in need. As of February, there are an estimated 13 MILLION PEOPLE in desperate need of food and humanitarian assistance. That is HALF THE POPULATION OF AUSTRALIA! It's time for Australians to reach out and help! Please support the SchoolAid EAST AFRICAN FAMINE APPEAL, in proud partnership with UNICEF!
SchoolAid has partnered with UNICEF on the 'SchoolAid East African Famine Appeal'. Funds raised* by Australian schools for the Appeal will be directed to UNICEF's humanitarian efforts in the affected region, directly supporting children's needs during this crisis. UNICEF is the world's leading development and emergency relief organisation and saves more children's lives than any other humanitarian agency in the world. UNICEF works closely with children, women and communities as well as governments, other UN agencies, non-government organisations and the private sector on behalf of all children without regard to race, creed or religion.
Our Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, said when visiting Somalia: "This has been described as the children's famine. If we act together now, we as the world community can save hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of lives. If we fail to act now, then we are going to stand by and see hundreds of thousands of people die, mostly children."
CALLING ALL AUSSIE SCHOOLS TO UNITE IN A SHOW OF COMPASSION TOWARDS THEIR AFRICAN PEERS!
$1 coin from each student may not seem like much - BUT ALTOGETHER IT WILL HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT! Come on Aussie schools- let's work together to make a difference in the lives of these children who are suffering!
TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS! REGISTER YOUR INTEREST AT firstname.lastname@example.org AND WE WILL SEND YOU A STARTER PACK TO HELP YOU ON YOUR WAY!
Minister Peter Garrett endorses the SchoolAid East African Famine Appeal:
"The Government is very proud of our Australian schools, who so far this year have raised close to $1.1 million for SchoolAid's Appeals supporting kids and communities affected by the Queensland and Victorian Floods, the earthquake in Christchurch, and Japan's devastating quake and tsunami.
Given what we now know about the worsening drought and famine unfolding in the Horn of Africa, I urge all Aussie students and teachers to participate in the SchoolAid East African Famine Appeal, and help the estimated 14 million African people who are under threat from this devastating situation."
*TEACHERS! An inspirational idea: Why not hold an "SCHOOLAID EAST AFRICAN MUFTI DAY" where students choose a country in Eastern Africa, draw and colour in the flag of their chosen country, and then safety pin it to their clothing- as a show of support and unity for those suffering. It can be a reminder throughout the day to students about how they are making a difference in the lives of the kids in Eastern Africa, whilst acknowledging that here in Australia we all have so much to be grateful for.
Teachers and Principals- please send us your stories and photos, so that we can showcase your great activities!
"I reach out today - to focus global attention on this crisis in East Africa, to sound the alarm and call on the world's people to help in this moment of greatest need. To save the lives of the people at risk - the vast majority of them women and children - we need approximately $1.6 billion in aid. So far, international donors have given only half that amount. To turn the tide, to offer hope in the name of our common humanity, we must mobilise worldwide. This means everyone.
Yesterday in Rome UN agencies were gathering to co-ordinate our emergency response and raise funds for immediate assistance. Meanwhile, we must all ask ourselves, as individual citizens, how we can help. This might mean private donations, as in previous humanitarian emergencies in Indonesia after the tsunami or Haiti after the earthquake."
- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Tuesday, 26 July 2011
*All funds raised by the SchoolAid East Africa Famine Appeal, minus SchoolAid's 10% administration fee, will be directed to UNICEF Australia
6 September 2011
Three-quarters of a million people are facing death by starvation in Somalia, the UN said, as it reported that famine had spread to a sixth southern region of the beleaguered Horn of Africa country.
Famine was first declared in the southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions of southern Somalia in July. It later spread to three further areas, including into the Somali capital Mogadishu and the Afgoye corridor, the world's largest camp for displaced people.
The UN said it has now spread to the Bay area, where malnutrition rates are 58 per cent - nearly four times the World Health Organisation's emergency threshold.
"Tens of thousands of people have already died, over half of whom are children," according to a statement from the United Nation's food security analysis team for Somalia. "In total, 4 million people are in crisis in Somalia, with 750,000 people at risk of death in the coming four months in the absence of adequate response."
The Bay area, which includes the major town of Baidoa, is a stronghold of hardline Islamist Al Shabab insurgents who have imposed severe restrictions on aid into the areas they control.
"Assuming current levels of response continue, famine is expected to spread further over the coming four months," the UN said.
The 750,000 people in famine-affected areas at risk of death is a 66 per cent increase from when famine was first declared in July, when 450,000 were at risk.
Al-Qaeda affiliated Al Shabab fighters pulled out of positions in Mogadishu last month, but still control much of southern Somalia, the worst-hit region by famine and the extreme drought.
Famine implies that at least 20 per cent of households face extreme food shortages, acute malnutrition in over 30 per cent of people, and two deaths per 10,000 people every day, according to UN definition. Some 12.4 million people in the Horn of Africa, including parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda, are affected by the worst drought in decades in the region and are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.
(courtesy of abc.net.au)
15 August 2011
"I cannot imagine destitution, hopelessness and misery on the scale they are being suffered by millions of children and their families in Eastern Africa at this time. I am sure students in our schools also feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the disaster when they become aware of it.
It is difficult to imagine that the actions of a single child in Australia could make a difference. SchoolAid doesn't just imagine that the actions of individual students make a difference. SchoolAid realises the dream. Through their EAST AFRICAN FAMINE APPEAL SchoolAid will deliver essential support to children in Eastern Africa.
However, that is not all SchoolAid achieves. By working with teachers and students in schools across Australia School Aid helps us recognise that one human being reaching out to help another always uplifts our collective humanity.
Australian students benefit from what Sean Gordon, SchoolAid's Founder calls, "Our In-reach Program". It develops empathy and builds respect for others and highlights the connectedness of people everywhere.
I recommend SchoolAid's "East African Famine Appeal" to every principal interested in building character and world understanding in their students by providing them with a meaningful philanthropic experience."
5 August 2011
The new famine areas designated by the UN include two sites where hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled in search of food.
In the war-torn capital Mogadishu, up to 100,000 Somalis have fled from the drought, with up to 1,000 people arriving at the camp every day, according to the UN refugee agency.
"Despite increased attention in recent weeks, the current humanitarian response remains inadequate, due in part to ongoing access restrictions and difficulties in scaling-up emergency assistance programs, as well as funding gaps," the UN unit said in a statement. As a result, famine is expected to spread across all regions of the south in the coming four to six weeks."
The UN statement said recent torrential rains around the capital had added to the misery of those with basic shelter and already weakened by hunger.
Famine implies at least 20 per cent of households face extreme food shortages, acute malnutrition in more 30 per cent of people, and two deaths per 10,000 people every day, according to UN definition.
Most of the areas declared to be in famine are controlled by Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab rebels, who have blocked several key aid agencies from delivering aid.
Deaths among the entire population had exceeded the famine threshold of two per 10,000 people daily in the Balaad and Adale regions, while deaths of children under five had reached 13 per 10,000 people every day among people fleeing the famine area.
(Courtesy of ABC News)
4 August 2011
"The reason we are here today is very simple, that is to reinforce the global appeal to the governments and the peoples of the world to act now to deal with this food crisis, this famine, in the Horn of Africa.
If we act together now, we as the world community can save hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of lives. If we fail to act now, then we are going to stand by and see hundreds of thousands of people die, mostly children.
It is also, an avoidable catastrophe if we act now.
We in Australia are putting our shoulder to the wheel, we are now one of the world's top five funders of this operation and we stand ready to do more.
The challenge we have now, is to act as an international community.
This food crisis, this famine in Africa, is a direct appeal from the children of Africa to the conscience of the world. It is no more complex than that.
And if this appeal does not move the hearts of the world, I do not know what does."
3 August 2011
The baby weighs just 3.4kg - a third of what he should - and was hours from death when his mother took him to a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee in Dadaab, Kenya. His anguished eyes, hollow cheeks and fragile limbs show just how severe the famine in East Africa is becoming.