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Integral Responding to the East Africa Food Crisis

In September 2015 an Alert was raised for an Integral Response for the increasing food insecurity in East Africa, with Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan especially affected. Here is an update of activity so far in this joint response …

Photo: ‘Food distribution in the Sekota region’, Ethiopia
Credit: Kebede Lule, Food for the Hungry 

Ten Integral Members have opted in to this response for the East Africa Food Crisis. Integral has hosted one conference call to date, and two in-country meetings between Integral Member staff working in Ethiopia and Somalia have taken place. These field meetings shared assessment information and funding needs, as well as looked for opportunities to deepen existing joint work, start new shared projects and access funding together.

Chris McDonald, Tearfund UK’sCountry Representative for Somalia and Somaliland, reports “Several Integral Members (World Concern, Medair, World Relief Germany and Tearfund) met in Nairobi some weeks back to discuss our response in Somalia and Somaliland. The connection was really helpful and has led to more intentional collaboration between Integral Members in southern Somalia.”

In August 2015 people affected by food insecurity in Ethiopia was 4.5 million. Current government estimates now put that figure at 8.2 million (GEO snapshot 7-13 October – link no longer available) and this is expected to increase further in coming months. The cost of not responding to this situation now has been estimated at $1.7 billion (USDS) if we wait until February 2016 versus $784 million if we act now.  

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.  Jan Eyre, Integral’s Disaster Management and Programme Coordinator, says, “There is an imperative to act now to stop the crisis worsening and ensure that the steady development gains over the last decades are not lost. It is a challenge with media interest currently very low, and funding scarce, but we hope that by increasing our coordination now, we will be better prepared to bring assistance as the situation worsens. Integral is very well positioned and has partners with reach and capacity at community level.  Action now will undoubtedly save lives and prevent this crisis deepening.”  

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)