“Many Kenyans – facing a fifth consecutive season of failed or poor rains –

are already living on the edge and unless donors respond immediately, we fear

for the worst.”

– United Nations World Food Program Country Director Tesema Negash

Burbank, CA (February 20, 2006) – Another severe food crisis has befallen the

people of Africa, this time, affecting several countries in eastern and

southern Africa. In Kenya and Malawi alone, over 8 million people are facing

starvation unless they receive immediate food assistance.

Islamic Relief, an international relief and development organization working in

35 countries across the world, has been working in Africa since its inception,

and is establishing emergency food, water, and nutrition projects in Kenya

and Malawi.

Inadequate rainfall in 2005 resulted in the total failure of crops in many places

in Kenya. Now, over 3.5 million people, including over 500,000 children, are

facing starvation.

Islamic Relief is focusing its efforts in the northeastern Mandera district of

Kenya, where it will provide 13.5 million liters of clean drinking water to 10

fixed distribution centers in Mandera over the course of 3 months. Islamic

Relief aims to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with severe

malnutrition through the provision of quality care and nutritious food, and

follow up of moderately malnourished children and lactating mothers at the

community level. Ten supplementary feeding centers and one therapeutic

feeding center will be established in Mandera.

“The situation in Mandera is very desperate. Small children are already dying

from starvation. There is urgent need for water and food – the basics which

make the difference between life and death.”

– Mohammed Adan, Islamic Relief Kenya

In Malawi, the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates 4.9 million people are

in need of immediate food assistance.

The humanitarian situation in Malawi remains very serious due to a deadly

combination of chronic poverty, bad weather conditions, poor harvest, high

prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and an outbreak of cholera.

The current crisis is due primarily to years of successive droughts. Although

Malawi has one of the largest lakes in all of Africa, irrigation methods are

limited and changing climates and delayed rains have decimated the largely

agrarian economy.

Islamic Relief’s emergency projects in Malawi includes distribution of food and

clean water. In addition, Islamic Relief staff will be distributing seeds for

planting vegetation to address the long-term needs of the victims of the

famine.

Islamic Relief has allocated an initial budget of $250,000 and is targeting $1.2

million to provide emergency assistance for the starving populations in Kenya

and Malawi. Islamic Relief has previously assisted the people of Malawi during

the 2002 food crisis, and has a full-time office in Mandera, in northeastern

Kenya.

Islamic Relief staff in Kenya and Malawi will continue to monitor the situation

on the ground, and respond to the needs of the victims.

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