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East Africa Crisis

Millions of people in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia are in urgent need of emergency food aid due to drought.

East Africa crisis

Viola Tabo, pictured here with her son, fled her home in Lanya village, South Sudan in September 2016, after government troops executed three of her brothers. In October, Viola received seeds and tools from Caritas, and is now cultivating vegetables to supplement the refugees’ daily diet of maize and beans.

  • Over half the population of Somalia (6.7 million people) are experiencing food shortages and maltritution. There have also been major outbreaks of cholera across the country. 
  • South Sudan is on the brink of famine, with drought and conflict affecting millions. 
  • Millions of people in south-eastern Ethiopia and northern Kenya are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. 

Trócaire is reaching over 150,000 people across the region with emergency food, water and sanitation. Some examples of our work include:

  • 13,000 children provided with supplementary high-energy food
  • Our health centres in Somalia are treating 19,000 people each month
  • 20,000 people in Ethiopia receiving emergency food aid or cash transfers
  • 25,000 men, women and children are receiving monthly food rations in South Sudan 

Needs are enormous - please support our appeal and help us reach more people with life-saving aid.


    Your support is needed urgently

    To donate by telephone call 1850 408 408 (ROI) or 0800 912 1200 (NI).

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    Eyewitness accounts from Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan

    David O'Hare, Communications Officer in northern Kenya, May 2017

    Eoin Wrenn, Trócaire's Head of Region for East Africa report from Ethiopia, May 2017

    Sean Farrell, Director of Trócaire’s International Division in South Sudan, February 2017  


    Half the population of Somalia (6.7 million people) are in need of emergency aid, including 3.7 million children

    The situation is a result of consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, coupled with ongoing conflict and displacement in some regions. 

    Three-quarters of all livestock animals have died.

    Drought has also led to a lack of accessible clean water. 4.5 million people are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene support.

    In March, the first cases of cholera from contaminated water were reported.

    There have been tens of thousands of cases have since then, and hundreds have lost their lives to the illness so far.

    Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cholera, and other water-borne illnesses such as acute watery diarrhoea, which are fatal if not treated quickly.

    Trócaire's response in Somalia

    Trócaire is one of the few international aid agencies operating in the Gedo district of Somalia, which is one of the worst affected areas.  Over 7,000 people per month are being treated at our health centres there. 

    Our emergency response scales up our existing health, nutrition, and education services to address growing malnutrition, food insecurity, and the spread of diseases like measles, malaria and cholera.

    Trócaire is providing nutritional support in clinical care locations and via our education programme. Increasing school feeding addresses both the immediate food needs for school-going children, and helps children who might drop out without food provision to stay in school.

    Trócaire is a member of a consortium of international non-governmental organisations that recently received funding from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) to scale up access to health and nutrition services across the country.


    Severe drought in northern Kenya has affected 3 million people who now require humanitarian assistance. 

    This number is expected to rise to 4 million by July 2017 according to government estimates. 

    Half a million children under-5 are severely malnourished and could die without emergency intervention. 

    In most affected areas water sources have dried up or is extremely hard to access. 

    An estimated 175,000 children have dropped out of school either due to lack of water and food in schools or because they are needed to assist their families in fetching water and herding livestock.

    Trócaire's response in Kenya

    Trócaire's response is concentrated in particularly hard-hit areas including Baringo and Turkana.

    In Kenya we are supporting feeding programmes for 4,000 children in three medical units in Turkana.  We are also trucking water to six schools in Barpello, East Pokot (Baringo County).  This has allowed the schools to stay open and provide meals to the children attending the school. 

    We are seeking funding to majorly scale up our humanitarian response to reach an additional 3,000 children with emergency feeding; food or cash support to 66,000 households; repair boreholes or provide new ones to help six communitities get access to water; and truck water to more schools, health units and communities. 

    South Sudan

    Famine has been declared in one state of South Sudan (Unity State). Other regions of South Sudan are currently either one level below famine classification (‘emergency’) or two levels below (‘crisis’). 

    7.5 million people in the country – over 50 per cent of the population – will need emergency aid to survive over the coming months. 

    Famine has been formally declared in parts of South Sudan by the UN and the government, meaning large number of people are now dying from starvation. 

    The crisis has been compounded by conflict which has displaced millions and has severely disrupted crop planting. 

    Trócaire's response in South Sudan

    Trócaire is providing monthly food rations to 12,000 of the most vulnerable host and displaced individuals in the Adior and Pagarau counties of Yirol East State  through our partner the Caritas Diocese of Rumbek. 

    The team in Juba is currently preparing to scale up our humanitarian response in the coming weeks.


    7.7 million people in east and southern Ethiopia are facing starvation. 

    The number of people affected is expected to rise further in the second half of 2017. 9 million people will not have access to safe drinking water. 

    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 skipping meals, selling assets and migration or displacement of entire households.

    Trócaire's response in Ethiopia

    Trócaire and its partners are providing emergency support to nearly 60,000 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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