Since July 2011, SOS Children’s Villages Emergency Relief Program in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya has helped save lives and improve living conditions for approximately 90,000 of the worst-affected victims of the famine.
In some of these places, conditions have stabilized and SOS is now working with families and children to ensure their self-sufficiency. In other areas, SOS teams continue to provide food, water and medical services alongside a variety of family strengthening initiatives to those in greatest need.
Ethiopia - SOS Children’s Villages set up an emergency relief program in Southern Ethiopia through the SOS Village in Gode, in one of the driest regions of the country. Nearly 2,200 households—which included 5,000 children under the age of five—received food at distributions through SOS in Gode. SOS worked to improve santitation and hygiene, to provide access for clean water and to improve families’ shelter.
As the emergency situation winds down, SOS continues to provide food and safe drinking water until crops from the next planting season mature in the latter half of 2012.
Kenya - In Marasabit district, schools were closed and thousands of children and families were affected by the raging drought there. SOS Children’s Villages was able to deliver food to almost 2,000 households, while an additional 3,500 children benefitted from a school feeding program. 20,000 litres of water per week, and water treatment supplies, were also provided. Post-emergency strategies are being worked out in the communities, as SOS tries to build on the positive impact this work has had. The UN has reported that over the past year malnutrition levels in the area is now 12.8%, down from 28.1% the previous year.
Somalia - Somalia was among the hardest hit by last year’s famine, in part due to the civil conflict in the region and the influx of refugees in Internally Displaced Persons camps. In January 2012, the UN estimated that 1.3 million people remain displaced within Somalia. In March, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that that 2.51 million people remain in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.
Since July 2011, SOS Children’s Villages has provided over 72,000 individuals (mostly women and children) with essential services including supplementary feeding programs, food aid, free healthcare, psychological support and other practical assistance. While other organisations have now filled the gap with food aid, SOS Children’s Villages continues to treat the same level of severely malnourished children through its hospitals and mobile clinics.