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East Africa Hunger Crisis

Over 26 million people are facing malnutrition and the threat of famine across South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia due to prolonged drought. Trócaire is currently reaching hundreds of thousands of people across the East Africa region with emergency food, water, sanitation and healthcare.

Ebongon is one of 4,800 people receiving cash support in Turkana South where 12 percent of the population are experiencing severe acute malnutrition

Ebongon is one of 4,800 people receiving cash support in Turkana South in Kenya where 12 percent of the population are experiencing severe acute malnutrition.

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Key Facts

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Our feeding and food distribution programmes are reaching tens of thousands of children in Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya

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Our health centres in Somalia are treating 19,000 people each month, focusing on maternal health, child malnutrition and cholera patients

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Cash transfers

We are supplying 40,000 people in Ethiopia with emergency food aid or cash transfers so they can buy food and basic supplies


Somalia has been devastated by ongoing drought events in recent years. Now, half the population (6.7 million people) is experiencing serious food insecurity. 

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is has projected some 5.5 million people are in need of emergency health services across Somalia.

We are working in partnership with other international NGOs in the country to deliver large-scale nutrition support to malnourished children, and pregnant and nursing women.

Likow Isak Sedow

Likow Isak Sedow has been displaced by the crisis and is seeking refuge and support in Dhuyuleh. Photo: Amunga Eshuchi

Trócaire has a strong, long-established presence in the Gedo region in southern Somalia. The area is receiving a high number of internally displaced people from other regions.

Trócaire is currently implementing scaled up health services in three hospitals, one referral health centre, three health centres and 11 primary health units, targeting women and children in particular.

An average of 19,000 people per month are being treated at our health centres in Somalia.

As of August 2017 Trócaire has begun water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities mainly on water points and hygiene promotion in schools, villages and hospitals. 


5.6 million people in Kenya have been affected by the drought, 3.4 million people of whom are food insecure. 2.6 million people are now facing severe food insecurity, amongst them 500,000 of whom are facing life threatening ‘emergency’ levels of food insecurity. A total of 369,277 children in the arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya now require urgent lifesaving treatment for acute malnutrition. 

With Trócaire's support nearly 5,000 people are receiving food rations in the Turkana region.

4,800 of the most affected and vulnerable people in the region are also being targetted with cash transfers to support their households.

8,000 children at risk of malnutrition have been reached with high energy nutritional food distributed through health facilities.

Elsewhere with Trócaire support, the Diocese of Meru is undertaking vaccination of 10,000 livestock, to try to keep animals healthy and protect pastoralist livelihoods.

South Sudan

7.5 million people across the country – over 50 per cent of the population – are at risk of severe food shortages, malnutrition and chronic health problems over the coming months.

Trócaire is responding by providing food, water, sanitation facilities, and emergency livelihood materials like seeds and tools, to families who have been displaced by conflict and drought, as well as the communities hosting them in Lakes State in South Sudan.

We are reaching 25,000 people with monthly food distribution, 4,000 households with staple crop seeds, providing basics like soap, jerry cans and 'dignity kits', including sanitary items for women, and 1,100 households are being provided with water and sanitation facilities.

We have also pre-positioned stocks of medicines and materials in preparation for cholera outbreaks.


Over 8.5 million people require emergency food assistance in southern Ethiopia, in addition to the 7 million who are already receiving government support. 

Small farmers are the worst affected. Up to 50% of livestock have died in areas where Trócaire works.

Drought affected families are employing extreme coping strategies to survive, including selling assets and migration or displacement of entire households.

Trócaire and its partners are providing emergency support to over 350,000 people in communities in the affected areas of South Omo, Gamo Gofa, Guji and Borena.

This includes cash transfers, water distribution, sanitation and disease prevention measures. We are also funding emergency protection for farmers’ livestock including vaccination, treatment and feeding. This is vital to ensure that people affected by the drought do not lose their livelihoods.

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