The region’s primary sources for food – crops and livestock – are dying from years of insufficient rain, and the United Nations website states an immediate $1.4 billion is needed to stop the spread of famine in Somalia. According to António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, this declaration makes the drought in the Horn of Africa the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.
“The inability to grow food paired with rising food prices and continued internal conflict is leading to increases in starvation, severe malnutrition and vulnerability to disease throughout Somali, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti,” said Barry La Forgia, International Relief Teams executive director. “The crisis is such that refugee camps are unable to provide sufficient food and shelter for all of the victims.”
More than 1,000 people are flooding into overcrowded refugee camps each day, many of whom are Somalis and travel by foot to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. The biggest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab in Kenya, was originally built for a capacity of 90,000 people and now has more than 380,000 refugees.
“Overcoming this crisis will be challenging, so as a member of the international community we need to do what we can to help,” said La Forgia. “What most people don’t know is that even a few dollars can go a long way. Even the smallest donation is indispensible at this time.”
International Relief Teams has already procured more than $3.4 million dollars in antibiotics, de-worming medicines, anti-diarrheals, analgesics, and other live-saving medicines for immediate shipment to the refugee camps. It is now directing its efforts to obtaining high nutrient food products to be distributed by on-site partners in the refugee camps.
To take action and support the International Relief Teams response to this crisis, visit www.IRTeams.org.
International Relief Teams, based in San Diego, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists victims of disaster, poverty and neglect. Serving those in need with efficiency and integrity, the organization focuses on four core areas – medical training, surgical outreach, health promotion, and disaster relief – that combine short-term relief efforts and long-term programs to save and change lives. International Relief Teams had total revenues of $26.9 million in 2010.
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International Relief Teams is a nonprofit organization that assists victims of disaster, poverty and neglect, and focuses on four core areas – medical training, surgical outreach, health promotion, and disaster relief.