The El Niño weather phenomenon has caused the worst drought the Horn of Africa and southern Africa have seen in 30 years. Today, 50 million people are relying entirely on humanitarian assistance for their survival. Swiss Solidarity is now appealing for donations to fund activities that will enable those affected to meet their needs over the long term.
Swiss Solidarity has already funded four emergency relief programs to prevent a serious hunger crisis in the wake of El Niño, which has deprived the Horn of Africa and southern Africa of rain since 2015. Although weather conditions are improving, considerable needs remain unmet. Fifty million people, shepherds and farmers, have lost their only means of subsistence.
“More than giving people food to survive, we want to help them recover and cope with future climatic changes, by for example giving them safer access to water,” explained Ernst Lüber, Head of the Projects Department at Swiss Solidarity, who recently returned from Ethiopia, one of the countries hardest hit by the phenomenon.
Funding activities above and beyond survival assistance
Despite freeing up a million francs to provide immediate assistance to affected people, the organization lacks the funds needed to finance NGOs working in the region. Swiss Solidarity is relaunching its campaign to fund efforts that go well beyond helping people survive: distributing seeds, setting up agricultural training programs, building wells and filter pumps for water sources, and diversifying income sources are just a few examples of the measures being taken to foster the autonomy of those who have lost everything.
Donations may be made any time either directly online, via the Swiss Solidarity app or through postal account 10-15000-6 (specify “Africa”).