Hunger crisis: Concern responds

March 23, 2017
Photo by Kieran McConville

16 million people face starvation in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Find out how we’re responding, and how you can help.

The UN has warned of the greatest humanitarian crisis since it was founded over 50 years ago. 16 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are at risk of starvation.

Famine has been declared in South Sudan. Kenya and Ethiopia are experiencing serious food shortages. In Somalia, there are already famine-like conditions and a declaration of famine is likely if April doesn’t bring enough rain. Children like five-year-old Aamiina, above, are experiencing severe malnutrition. She is receiving life-saving treatment at a Concern clinic outside of Mogadishu — but hundreds of thousands more children are malnourished and need immediate help.

Concern has been working in all four of these countries for many years. In recent months, we’ve been swiftly scaling up our response to rush food, clean water, and emergency nutrition to millions in desperate need.

Here’s what you need to know about the crisis:


The situation:

  • 6.2 million — more than half the country’s population — are in need of urgent food assistance
  • An estimated 363,000 children under five are acutely malnourished

Our response:
Our experienced team in Somalia has an emergency response underway. We’ve provided over 14,000 families (over 77,000 people) with emergency cash transfers so they can buy the food they desperately need. Every day, we’re providing clean water to tens of thousands of people, as well as two hospitals. We’ve also expanded our emergency nutrition response, reaching almost 3,000 malnourished children and breastfeeding mothers.

South Sudan

The situation:

  • 100,000 people are facing starvation
  • 1 million people are on the brink of famine
  • This year, almost 300,000 children will be severely malnourished

Our response:
Concern is reaching over 700,000 people in South Sudan. We’re operating quarterly food distributions to over 300,000 people, providing clean water and latrines to over 63,000 people, and treating thousands of women and children for malnutrition in 52 clinics across the country, including in areas affected by the famine.


The situation:

  • An estimated 5.6 million people will require emergency food assistance through June this year
  • 300,000 children under five years face severe acute malnutrition this year

Our response:
We’re working in three regions (Amhara, Tigray, and Afar), supporting the national health system to treat malnourished children. We are also trucking water to people in areas where water sources like wells and springs have dried up completely.

Concern pumps water from a truck

Concern Worldwide is trucking thousands of gallons of clean water to some of the most drough-affected communities in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. The valley in the background hasn’t seen proper rain for three years and all water sources have dried up. Some people walk up to five hours a day to collect water. Photo: Kieran McConville


The situation:

  • Almost 400,000 children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are acutely malnourished
  • 2.7 million people face hunger

Our response:
The situation in Marsabit, where Concern works, is serious. We have launched an emergency response focusing on cash transfers, access to clean water, and health and nutrition services.

You can send help to families facing hunger: