East Africa urban food crisis
This year, east Africa was struck by the worst drought in 60 years. Even before this, it was tough to survive in Nairobi’s polluted and overcrowded slums. But now, families are living on the edge. The drought and food crisis has been spreading silently to the slums of Nairobi and other cities in east Africa and it is now at emergency levels.
Rising food prices
It seems scarcely possible that life here could get infinitely worse. Yet it has. Families are existing on an average daily income of €1.50 and struggling to afford proper shelter, clean water, healthcare or education. As food prices rise dramatically, families who already spend the bulk of their income on food can no longer afford to eat.
Brink of starvation
Over 3.5 million people living in urban areas have been severely hit by the crisis. Since the drought began, the price of staple foods, like maize flour, has doubled. Out of desperation, families have been forced to cut down drastically on the amount of food they eat. Now, they watch helplessly as their children slowly starve.
During 2011, Concern-supported nutrition centres in Nairobi have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of starving children needing emergency treatment. Between March and August, 62% more children were admitted to the Concern-supported clinic in Korogocho slum suffering from acute malnutrition.
We are taking urgent action to tackle the food crisis in Nairobi’s slums by providing families with nutritional treatment and cash transfers. We are also treating malnourished children with lifesaving high-energy peanut-based paste. Rich in protein, zinc and vitamin E, it delivers high levels of nutrition in small amounts for rapid weight gain. Baby Catherine Wamb recently started on the programme and her mother says:
She has already improved, is more lively and looks better.
But many more children are becoming increasingly more vulnerable.
You can help
You can feed a starving child with therapeutic food for a week for just over €10.