First-of-its-kind coalition launches Hunger Relief Fund to respond to threat of famine
Right now, a hunger crisis in East Africa, the Lake Chad Basin, and Yemen threatens millions of families with starvation. Without immediate help, 1.4 million children who are severely malnourished could die.
For the first time ever, Oxfam has joined forces with seven other leading US-based international relief organizations to urge the American public to donate to the new Hunger Relief Fund in response—this is an unprecedented crisis and we are responding in kind.
“Drought, displacement, and conflict have converged with alarming consequences,” said the chief executive officers of the organizations in the Global Emergency Response Coalition. “In the 21st century, innocent children should not be dying from hunger. People caught in this crisis are generously opening their homes and sharing what little they have, but they have run out of time and resources—they need our help now.”
In Yemen, a child under five dies every 10 minutes because of the lack of food and basic resources. In South Sudan, families have been forced to flee their homes and are surviving on water lilies alone while hiding in swamps. In Somalia, teenagers walk for hours just to get enough water to last their families one day. In Nigeria, there have been reports of people eating sand to ward off starvation. Families are dying not only from hunger, but also from diseases such as cholera and measles because they lack clean water and sanitation.
Humanitarian groups including Oxfam are scaling up their operations in response, but the needs far outweigh the current funding. Even with recent commitments from donors like the US, humanitarian appeals are severely underfunded in the four countries at risk of famine.
Despite its scope and urgency, this crisis has received little attention from the media and public. By combining our efforts into a joint, two-week appeal, members of the coalition hope to raise vital awareness and funding so we can work together to save even more lives.
The Global Emergency Response Coalition will use Hunger Relief Fund donations to help those already going hungry and on the brink of famine to survive and lay the groundwork for recovery. The coalition is comprised of Oxfam, CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Plan International, Save the Children, and World Vision. Together, these organizations are working in 106 countries to reach millions of the world’s most vulnerable people with urgent assistance such as food, water, shelter, education, and medical care, as well as resources to build resilience to future food crises.
Partners including PepsiCo, Google, and Twitter are working with the Global Emergency Response Coalition to help raise awareness and funds during the two-week appeal. PepsiCo Foundation will generously match donations up to $1 million.
“We can make a difference together and give people who are suffering more than food and resources. We can give them hope and show them they're not invisible—and they're not alone,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.
No single person, or even country, can solve the root causes of this crisis. No single aid organization can reach all of those who are suffering. We are all responding with urgency, but we cannot keep up with the need and we cannot do it alone.
We believe we are stronger together, and with the support of the American people, we can make a life-saving difference for millions of people.
The Global Emergency Response Coalition will raise funds for the Hunger Relief Fund from July 17 through July 28, 2017 at www.globalemergencyresponse.org.
Help deliver life-saving assistance to families facing severe hunger.