Famine in Africa

Famine in Africa: Swiss Solidarity raises the alarm and appeals for donations

  • 14.03.2017
  • Famine in Africa

© Save the Children

Famine has been officially declared by the UN in South Sudan, and the situation in Nigeria and Somalia is critical. The worst drought in 60 years is being considerably aggravated by armed conflicts in some regions. Swiss Solidarity and its partner organisations on the ground in the region are raising the alarm. The race against time has begun and if nothing is done immediately, millions of people could die. Swiss Solidarity is appealing for donations.

The figures associated with this silent disaster, which is being overlooked by institutional donors, speak volumes. In South Sudan, 4.9 million people depend on urgent humanitarian aid; in Somalia, they number 2.5 million, and in Nigeria 5.1 million. Swiss Solidarity and its partners are launching a joint appeal to mobilise all the powers in a position to provide emergency assistance.

Swiss Solidarity’s partner NGOs are hard at work, but the money they need in order to continue their activities and reach more affected communities is lacking. In South Sudan, where access to the most hard-hit areas is extremely challenging, EPER, Medair, Caritas, the Swiss Red Cross and Terre des hommes are already helping many thousands of people by delivering emergency medical care, food and water. In Somalia, where a cholera epidemic has been exacerbating the situation recently, Save the Children, Adra and Medair are hard at work. In Nigeria, Save the Children is currently supporting vast numbers of displaced persons thanks to a special contribution from Swiss Solidarity.

The Emergency Appeals Alliance, an international coalition of humanitarian funding agencies which includes Swiss Solidarity, is also launching an appeal today which extends to Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Canada and Japan. “We cannot neglect Africa: if we fail to act, the consequences will be unimaginable”, declared Swiss Solidarity and its sister organisations which together comprise over 50 national and international NGOs.

We ask the public to donate through postal account 10-15000-6, through our application Swiss Solidarity or online.

    Swiss Solidarity is a foundation, started as an initiative of the Swiss public media SRG SSR | Partnership & collaboration

    • Keystone
    • Swisscom
    • SRG SSR alt




    One picture often says more than a thousand words. Thanks to the partnership with the internationally operating Swiss picture agency Keystone, Swiss Solidarity has free and rapid access to recent pictures at any time. 

    The Keystone picture agency takes a Swiss view of our country and the world. A team of 20 full-time photographers throughout Switzerland as well as international partner agencies ensure that no current event is missed. As the largest picture agency in Switzerland, Keystone has an almost unending store of material on Swiss social history (around 11 million archive images).




    A national fundraising day is unthinkable without the means of Swisscom: In six regional fundraising centers, provided by Swisscom as well, between 120 and 150 phone lines are in use. This meant that, at the Tsunami’s fundraising day, over 70’000 calls were managed. On fundraising days, this service is free of charge.

    The internet as a means of communication is vital for Swiss Solidarity, too. Therefore, Swisscom supports Swiss Solidarity’s web presence year after year with a considerable contribution. Swisscom (formerly PTT) has been an abiding partner for Swiss Solidarity for over sixty years.


    SRG SSR alt

    Swiss Solidarity originated in 1946 from a radio show in western Switzerland – the first fundraising campaign was for the benefit of the orphans of World War II. The idea became more and more successful, and in 1983, Swiss Solidarity was granted the status of a foundation initiated by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG. Today, Swiss Solidarity is a foundation that raises funds for humanitarian relief projects and works with the SRG SSR.

    On national solidarity and fundraising days, Swiss Solidarity demonstrates just what is meant by «idée suisse»: The solidarity and support of Switzerland’s entire population. This is only possible because the SRG SSR idée suisse supports Swiss Solidarity with its free broadcastings. Swiss Solidarity itself is – with a few exceptions – not a relief organization, but rather a solidarity network, cooperating with 25 relief organizations.

    Additionally, the company’s entities SRF, RTS, RTR, RSI are all represented in the foundation board.