Over recent weeks, we have all been touched by news of the extreme food crisis affecting a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East. The UN has stated that 20 million people are facing the threat of starvation. There are chronic food shortages in four places (South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Northern Nigeria) and confirmed famine already in parts of South Sudan. It is an unprecedented food crisis.
The situation is acute in East Africa, and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has therefore launched a crisis appeal to raise awareness and funds to help people at risk of starving to death in the region.
Although Comic Relief’s focus has always been to fund work that tries to address the long term causes of many of these problems, we can’t turn a blind eye to the immediate crises either, which is why we will be investing at least £1 million to support the relief effort in East Africa. Some of this money will go directly to the DEC and some to existing Comic Relief grantees in affected areas.
It goes without saying that being able to respond to situations such as this, as well as continuing to fund projects that provide long term solutions and that tackle the root causes of poverty, would not be possible without the incredible support that we get from the public, our partners and supporters.