Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

Queen in personal donation to East Africa Crisis Appeal

Queen in personal donation to East Africa Crisis Appeal

Quadruple Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah, an ambassador for Save the Children, who spent the early years of his life in Somalia, helped issue an appeal on behalf of the charity.

"I can't imagine how very bad it would be to watch my children not having food to eat or water to drink, but this is a reality being faced by so many parents in East Africa".

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

Major aid agencies have united to launch an emergency appeal for funds to help almost 20 million people in imminent danger of starvation in East Africa.

Bringing together 13 leading United Kingdom aid agencies, the Disasters Emergency Committee raise money at times of humanitarian crisis in poorer countries. Violence, instability and a drought exacerbated by climate change are pushing people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia toward starvation and death.

The British government will match the first 5 million pounds donated by the public, with International Development Secretary Priti Patel describing this as "an unprecedented challenge with millions of people stalked by the scourge of famine".

We are calling on the global community to take immediate and urgent action to help the millions of girls and boys at risk of starvation in East Africa in the world's worst humanitarian crisis since 1945.

In February, the United Nations formally declared a starvation in parts of South Sudan - the first time in six years such an announcement has been made.

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Around one million Somali children are predicted to become malnourished this year, with nearly 200,000 at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: "We are hearing that families are so desperate for food that they are resorting to eating leaves to survive". A quarter of a million lives were needlessly lost then, and we know that action at this stage can make a difference.

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

He added: "We need to put it into perspective".

Her Majesty remains one of the most charitable figures in the world.

Members of the public can donate to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000, visiting www.dec.org.uk, or calling 0370 60 60 610.

Addressing concerns that some of the money going to the countries affected by civil war may be stolen by the government or rebel forces, he said the charities brought together by the DEC work directly with staff and vetted organisations on the ground.

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