(photo credit: REUTERS)
A number of Jewish humanitarian groups have initiated aid programs to help
address the severe drought and food shortages currently affecting East
The UN’s World Food Program has declared a famine situation in
two regions of Somalia and has stated that there are approximately 11.3 million
people across East Africa, including in Kenya and Ethiopia, in need of emergency
food aid because of the current drought, the worst in the region for 60
Israeli clinic in Haiti made cholera treatment facility
IsraAid, an umbrella group of Israeli and Jewish humanitarian aid
organizations, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that it was coordinating with
the Kenyan government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to provide aid supplies
to the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya, which currently hosts 380,000
Somali refugees who have fled the war-torn country.
The UNHCR has said
that more than 1,300 refugees are arriving daily at the camp.
spokesman Shachar Zahavai said that the umbrella group, which is working in the
region in conjunction with Christian NGO Operation Blessing and with the support
of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the UIA Federations Canada, hopes
to start getting supplies into the camp some time next week.
Relief, a UK Jewish charity which provides overseas aid, has also launched an
initiative to help provide humanitarian supplies to the region.
that it has helped the Kenyan Red Cross purchase 25 tons of corn-soya product,
which will provide 2,700 children with a meal in school for six months, and has
also assisted UNICEF in Kenya and UNICEF in Ethiopia to buy 15,000 sachets of
high protein peanut paste for severely malnourished displaced children, enough
to support 200 children for a month.
WJR is also providing funds for
UNICEF Kenya to buy water kits for 530 families, which will enable them to
collect, treat and store water and has launched an appeal to raise money for the
The New York-based American Jewish World Service
organization has also begun an emergency aid program for the region and has said
it will be working with local partners to distribute aid.
Program director Josette Sheeran said in a statement on Thursday that the
drought was creating a “life and death situation in Somalia,” with people in the
south of the country too weak to go in search of food.
Reuters reported that the Islamist al- Shabaab rebel group, currently at war
with international and Somali government forces, is denying the WFP access to
the country, leaving 2.2 million Somalis out of the agency’s reach.
aid groups, such as the Red Cross, are still being allowed to work in al-
Shabaab controlled areas.