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East Africa Food Crisis Worsens

16 March 2017

The announcement of the Queen's undisclosed contribution comes as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Somalia and Olympics great Sir Mo Farah backed a charity appeal for the cause.

Mo added: "As a father of four, it hurts to see children without food and water, but this is a reality being faced by parents in East Africa right now".

Sir Mo said it "breaks his heart" to see families suffering in the country he was born in.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched an appeal for aid to the drought-stricken countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan. Violence, instability and a drought exacerbated by climate change are pushing people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia toward starvation and death.

The UK Government has said it will match pound for pound the first £5 million donated by the public. So far over £20 million has been donated, including £5m in matched funding from the United Kingdom government.

"Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa", DEC chief executive, Saleh Saeed, said.

Starvation has already been declared in parts of South Sudan and the crisis is worsening in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

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Daniel Muchena, Plan International's Country Director in South Sudan said: "We are facing the disgusting spectre of children dying in huge numbers if we do not take immediate action".

"In South Sudan alone over a million people face the very real possibility of starvation in the weeks and months ahead".

With poor rains expected this month, the situation is only set to get worse with around one million Somali children predicted to become malnourished this year, with nearly 200,000 at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition. A quarter of a million lives were needlessly lost then, and we know that action at this stage can make a difference.

Research conducted in 2012 revealed that £1.4 billion were raised through charities supported by her.

'The worldwide community must now follow Global Britain's lead to save lives and stop the starvation before it becomes a stain on our collective conscience. "The world can not afford to wait".

Donations can be made at www.dec.org.uk or by calling 0370 60 60 610, with £25 providing a month's supply of life-saving peanut paste to a malnourished child, £60 could provide clean drinking water for two families for a month while £100 could provide supplies to a clinic treating severely malnourished children for a week.

East Africa Food Crisis Worsens