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Record-breaking famine could leave 29 million hungry in East Africa | Here's how you can help them

With the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, international aid to the region is down 95%, all while a major famine threatens millions of lives.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Several East African nations are bracing for what they fear will be a famine worse than the one the region experienced in 2011, when over 250,000 people died of starvation.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an economic partnership of eight East African nations, said in April that rains will likely fail for a fourth consecutive year, triggering fears of increased cases of malnutrition, threats to livelihoods and severe risks for 29 million people across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. 

Like most of Africa, the east and the Horn’s economic mainstay is agriculture, which is rain-fed, making it vulnerable to extreme weather events. 

“The March, April, May rains are crucial for the region and, sadly, we are looking at not just three, but potentially four consecutive failed seasons,” said Workneh Gebeyehu, the executive secretary of the intergovernmental agency. “This, coupled with other stress factors such as conflicts in both our region and Europe, the impact of COVID-19, and macro-economic challenges, has led to acute levels of food insecurity across the greater Horn of Africa.”

Below average rainfall for 2022 are likely to prolong the already extremely dry conditions which have not been experienced to this degree since 1981. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia — which will be severely impacted by the reduced rains — are already in the midst of a dire famine.

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With most of the world's international relief efforts focused on the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, aid to the region has dropped by 95% over the past year. 

Several organizations across the United States are stepping in to donate money, food and aid to the affected nations. 

Here's a list of the most reputable organizations with dedicated efforts towards famine relief in East Africa, according to Charity Navigator. According to their website, each of these organizations use at least 85% of their donated funds towards charitable efforts:

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This article was written with contributions from the Associated Press.