ESPOO, Finland – The severe food crisis in the Horn of Africa has dominated world headlines the past weeks. Some 12.4 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. Famine has been declared in regions of southern and central Somalia and the situation is anticipated to degenerate. Between April and the end of June, tens of thousands of people have died in southern Somalia. Almost half of them were children under five. At least one in five children is severely malnourished in the area. The main reason behind this unparalleled catastrophe is the worst drought the region has seen in 60 years. Escalating food prices and general instability have also played a part.
Nokia has made donations this month to UNICEF Somalia and Kenya Red Cross Society to support their relief efforts in offering immediate help.
Nokia’s approach to supporting disaster recovery is to focus first on immediate disaster relief, and then collaborate with local and state governments, civil societies and NGOs to offer mobile technology for development, assistance and to help rebuilding efforts. We have operated this way in a number of tragic natural disasters over the last few years.
UNICEF’s priority is to provide life-saving assistance to children and women. It delivers integrated emergency aid: therapeutic and supplementary emergency nutrition, clean water and sanitary equipment, vaccination campaigns to prevent the spread of deadly diseases such as measles, and the scaling up of protection measures to safeguard refugee children.
The Red Cross provides relief aid to the areas in most critical condition. Kenya Red Cross Society is currently completing emergency food contributions in areas of the country affected by the drought, as well as providing healthcare outreach and rehabilitating water sources. Besides immediate help, the organization also wishes to deliver long-term interventions in order to empower communities to build resilience and coping mechanisms.
Image credit: Unicef