Helping 1.2 million in Africa

Mwanzia family eating their daily meal in KenyaMid last year the Horn of Africa was affected by one of the worst droughts in decades, with an estimated 12.4 million people in urgent need of food. We launched our Intrepid East Africa Drought Appeal through The Intrepid Foundation, and many of you responded to support Plan International’s efforts to ensure emergency food relief and essential items were supplied to devastated communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan.

So one year on, what has happened in those communities and how are they now?

Since then, Plan International’s emergency response interventions have reached nearly 1.2 million people, mostly children, across the region.

Ethiopia – since their response work began in July 2011, Plan’s humanitarian interventions in Ethiopia have reached almost 300,000 people in 14 districts. Their emergency feeding programme and on-going medical support has helped over 30,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers suffering from acute malnutrition. They’ve also been implementing roof-water catching systems, and providing training on hygiene and sanitation to help make sure that drinking water is available and safe. In addition, Plan’s efforts to replenish livestock mean that thousands more families are now able to earn an income and better provide for their children.

Kenya – the arid districts in the north, eastern and coastal strip of the country were some of the hardest hit by the drought. Plan’s intervention has now reached over 650,000 of those affected.

By supporting schools to provide children with nutritious lunches, Plan has been giving hundreds of thousands of young people the food and water they need to stay healthy and to concentrate properly in class. They are helping to make sure health centres are able to provide for their patients, and raising awareness of the benefits of hand-washing, water purification and good nutrition. Plan is also working to ensure that young people are safe and has, so far, delivered a total of 180 sessions on child protection in emergencies to help keep children from harm.

South Sudan – Plan’s emergency response has reached around 250,000 people providing emergency food relief. They have been building wells to increase families’ access to safe water and have supported 41 communities to set up water management committees to make sure everyone in the community can benefit. By providing 40,000 pupils with healthy school meals, and by training parent and teacher associations on child abuse and gender-based violence issues, Plan has been working to safeguard the overall well-being of young people in South Sudan.

Plan is now focusing on long-term projects to support families in East Africa to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. By supporting sustainable food and water assistance, health and sanitation, child protection training and education, Plan will continue to help drought-affected communities on the road to recovery. If you would like to know more, please download the Horn of Africa drought: one year on report.

Hamda health clinic EthiopiaThe Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support Plan and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!

* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.

Photos: 1. The Mwanzia family eating their daily meal, Kenya © Plan 2. Doctor checking a child for malnutrition at Hamda health clinic, Ethiopia. © Plan

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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