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Integral DR alert raised for East Africa Food Crisis

An Alert for an Integral Response was raised on 30th September 2015 for increasing food insecurity in East Africa, with Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan especially affected. Extreme weather patterns, caused by a particularly strong El Niño, are causing floods and droughts in many regions of the world. The implications of these weather extremes are life threatening for millions of people in majority world countries who are dependent on agriculture and fishing …

Photo: Food for the Hungry, Food distribution, Ethiopia
Beneficiary Awotu Kegne, 29, is a mother of five children. Her village in Sekota district of the Amhara Region had not enough rain to grow food for the last two consecutive years. 

To date ten Integral Members have opted in to this Integral Response. On the first Integral coordination teleconference on the 5th October, a plan was developed to gather Integral Member staff in the most affected countries in order to explore how they might effectively work together.

In August 2015 people affected by food insecurity in Ethiopia had risen from 2.9 to 4.5 million people.  In 2016 this figure is expected to rise to 15 million. Also, next year in Ethiopia the normal four month ‘lean’ season is predicted to last up to 8 months.  [Source].

Jan Eyre, Integral’s Disaster Management and Programme Coordinator says, “Our Members have been running programmes in these countries for many years. Even though this is a slow onset humanitarian crisis, it is imperative that we act now so that we can ensure we don’t lose the gains made through years of development work. It is a challenge with media interest for this crisis very low, but we hope that by increasing our Integral coordination now, we will be better prepared to bring assistance as the situation worsens.”

Eleanor Tuck, Tearfund UK’s Humanitarian Support Manager, says, “Tearfund is currently working through our partners with over 13,000 Self Help Groups in East Africa, reaching over 1 million people to help them to build resilience to the shocks that they face.  Our partners are assessing the needs caused by the current drought.  Although the numbers of the affected population are very high already, we are focusing on contingency planning with other Integral Members for when the situation worsens. In this way, we can ensure that all the work we do further strengthens communities who face disaster beyond this particular crisis.”

Pete Howard, Food for the Hungry’s Senior Director of Emergency Response, says “We are looking forward to working in partnership with Integral to advocate with our donors. We want to see a comprehensive approach that strengthens the most vulnerable farmers and families. We desire to see them thrive in spite of the drought and challenges arising from El Nino.”

Integral has set up a dedicated website to enable Members to share information and media resources and to facilitate on-going sharing and coordination for this joint operations and communications response.

Food for the Hungry (US), MAP International (US), Medair (Switzerland), TEAR (Netherlands), TearFund (NZ), Tearfund (UK), World Concern (US), ZOA (Netherlands), World Relief (US), World Renew (US & Canada)