cbm Helping Children in Horn of Africa

Jul 26, 2011 07:01 AM EDT

July 25, 2011 – cbm is committed to helping 10,000 vulnerable children, who are not only struggling to survive the famine in the Horn of Africa, but who are also affected by disability.

“Malnutrition is killing children and leaving malnourished children with life-long disabilities such as blindness, motor impairments, and intellectual disabilities,” says Epp.

According to UNICEF, more than two million children in the Horn of Africa are malnourished – half a million of whom are in a life-threatening condition.

cbm is teaming up with other mainstream relief organizations such as the Kenya Red Cross to ensure people with disabilities in the Horn of Africa have access to food, clean water, disability services and technical support.

“People with disabilities are the first to be forgotten and last in line to receive food and water,” says Ed Epp, cbm Canada’s Executive Director. “With nearly 11 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance, at least 15% will be living with a disability.”

To save lives and prevent disability now – and for the months to come, cbm has created a 3-step Action plan:

o Phase 1: saving lives by providing nutrient-enriched food to the most vulnerable children – children who are affected by disabilities (as well as their families);

(Due to the generosity of Canadian donors, we are able to immediately commit an initial $150,000 Cdn for this first phase.)

o Phase 2: preventing disabilities from malnutrition;

o Phase 3: re-building lives through distribution of seeds, tools, and other income generation activities

cbm is able to work in disaster zones because of trusted partners already on the ground. Cbm’s partners live and work there - who know the local language, culture and resources. And since they are already working alongside people with disabilities, they can help us to be efficient in finding and helping our clients as well as identifying people who have been affected by the disaster.

A severe lack of rainfall throughout the region, suggested to be the worst in 60 years, has decimated crops and livestock, causing thousands of families to flee their communities in search of food and clean water.

Thousands of refugees are flooding into Kenya from southern Ethiopia and Somalia at an unprecedented rate. It is expected that almost half the children arriving into Kenya are severely malnourished and the numbers in need of emergency assistance and aid is expected to rise.

“Along with our partners, cbm will remain committed to saving lives and providing long-term support to vulnerable people living in the Horn of Africa.”

“We realize the need seems overwhelming,” says Epp. “ Yet $50 is enough to provide one month of food rations for a family of six,” says Epp.

Please pray for the people living without water and food – especially for the most vulnerable people: children, pregnant mothers and people with disabilities. Pray also for strength and wisdom for our partners as they look for the best way to save lives now and in the weeks and months to come.

Canadians can help the desperate people in the Horn of Africa by calling 1-800-567-2264 or visiting www.cbmcanada.org/africafamine.

[Source: cbm Canada]