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In July and August of 2011, the U.N. declared famine in Somalia, and humanitarian emergency in Kenya and Ethiopia. But the crisis throughout the Horn of Africa has been looming for some time. Drought - the worst in sixty years - decimated crops throughout the Horn, destroyed forage for the livestock people depend on, caused water sources to dry up, and left millions at risk of starvation.
According to the U.N., 12.4 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, right now. 1.25 million children in Somalia alone are in need of immediate life-saving aid, as families flee their now-desolate homelands in an ever more urgent search for water and sustenance. But international donors have been slow to react, with less than 50% of the need met with pledged funding.
More than 400,000 refugees have gathered in overcrowded camps in Dabaab, Kenya. More than 160,000 refugees have fled to camps in Ethiopia. More than 470,000 are packed into Mogadishu, hoping to find help there. Most of these refugees walked the entire way - and they are the ones who were strong enough, fortunate enough to able to get that far.
In the face of this crisis, every action seems like a drop in an endless bucket.
But each of those drops can save a life.
The Hunger Site is taking a stand against the famine. For the last two weeks in August, your click on the red button at The Hunger Site will fund food for those in desperate need in the Horn of Africa. 100% of sponsor money will, through Mercy Corps and Millennium Promise, go toward this cause.
Click every day to fight this famine. Spread the word in any way you can - send an e-card, share on Facebook, or link to us from your blog - whatever it takes. Because the more people who take that extra few seconds out of their day to click, the more food we'll be able to give to starving families. The more lives we will be able to save.
Maybe together, we can fill that bucket with so many drops that the refugee camps will stand empty, communities rebuild, and families move on with their lives. But even if we don't reach that goal, we will have made a difference. And making a life-saving difference, even for just one person, is well worth a moment of our time.