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Cafod joins emergency appeal as millions face famine in East Africa

A doctor examines Wek Wol Wek (3 years), who suffers acute malnutrition, at the clinic run by Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Aweil, Northern Bahr al Ghazal, South Sudan, on 11 October 2016. (Getty)

LONDON – Cafod has joined forces with Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) as aid agencies respond to what the UN is calling the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, news portal Catholic Herald posted on 15 Mar 2017.

Cafod, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development for English and Wales, previously known as the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, was founded in 1962, and has its headquarters in London.

A combination of drought and civil war have left millions of families across East Africa on the brink of starvation. The DEC have launched an appeal for four countries – South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia – where 16 million people face severe hunger.

Matthew Carter, Cafod’s Humanitarian Director, said: “We no longer have the ‘luxury’ of dealing with one crisis at a time. A deadly combination of extreme weather and protracted conflict is creating a humanitarian disaster across the whole region. The international humanitarian community will need to wholeheartedly support the life-saving emergency aid work of local and national organisations in these countries.”

Cafod staff report that mothers have been feeding their children by picking leaves off trees. Catherine Ogolla, the charity’s country representative for Kenya and Uganda, said that the most vulnerable groups are nomadic and semi-nomadic communities who have never fully recovered from the drought of 2011-12. –

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