In 2011 and 2012 Mercy-USA for Aid and Development responded to the famine and drought in Somalia and the drought in Kenya.
The Horn of Africa suffered from the lowest rainfall in over 60 years. Approximately 13 million persons in the Horn were affected by this severe drought and the resulting food crisis conditions, with 3.7 million of them in Somalia and 3.5 million in Kenya.
The United Nations had stated that Somalia was experiencing “the most severe food crisis in the world today.”
On July 20, 2011, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of Somalia. On August 3, 2011, the UN declared that the famine had spread to three more regions of southern Somalia, including the camps for displaced families
in the capital Mogadishu. On September 5, the UN declared that famine had spread to a sixth region of Somalia, the Bay Region. In total, 4 million people are in crisis in Somalia, with 750,000 people at risk of death in
the coming four months in the absence of adequate response. Tens of thousands of people have already died, over half of whom are children. Assuming current levels of response continue, famine is expected to spread
further over the coming four months.
Malnutritional levels for children have soared. In many regions of Somalia, 30% to 50% of the children are malnourished. The UN estimates that 29,000 children under the age of five have already died, while 640,000
Somali children are acutely malnourished and at risk of dying, unless helped immediately!
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development's Response
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development's projects focus on nutrition, primary health care and promotion, controlling infectious diseases and improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Mercy-USA's response to
the ongoing drought and resultant food crisis involves supplementary and therapeutic feeding programs for malnourished children under five years of age, as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The program also includes the digging of wells to provide safe drinking water as well as the distribution of household items (kitchen kits, jerry cans, sleeping mats, blankets, soap, wash buckets, plastic sheets) and monthly food
rations (55 pounds of flour, 55 lb. of rice, 44 lb. of beans and 5 liters of cooking oil) to famine-displaced families.
In addition, Mercy-USA is providing a local Somali hot porridge (ugali) twice daily (in the morning and afternoon) to 300 vulnerable children and women now living in camps for internally displaced people in three districts (Yaqshid,
Abdulaziz and Daynile) of Somalia's capital Mogadishu. Ugali is made from a combination of sorghum, wheat and green beans that is boiled in water.
We are also providing the famine and drought displaced families in these three districts with free basic medical care, including medicines, through three clinics, one in each of the three districts listed above. A gift of $175 provides
one family with all needed household items listed above, plus life-sustaining food for one month and free basic medical care.
On September 19, we began the hot porridge distribution and the three clinics began examining and treating patients.
From September 21 to September 26, we distributed 2,092 dry food packages to 2,092 famine-displaced families (about 12,550 persons). Each package contained 55 pounds of flour, 55 lb. of rice, 44 lb. of beans and 5 liters of
cooking oil. We also provided these families with 2,092 household kits. Each kit contained a sleeping mat, a wash bucket, a kettle, 2 jerry cans, 2 pots, 2 plates, 4 plastic cups and soap.
From August to December 2011, Mercy-USA is digging 44 new wells, including 25 wells to provide safe drinking water to ten drought-affected villages in the regions of Galgadud and Mudug (also known as Gal-Mudug) and 19 new
wells near camps for famine and drought displaced persons in Mogadishu. Combined, these 44 new wells will provide fresh drinking water to towns, villages, camps for displaced persons and local host communities with an
estimated population of approximately 60,000 persons and 159,000 livestock. Many of the residents of the ten villages in Gal-Mudug are agro-pastoralists and depend on their livestock for food and income.
On August 21, Mercy-USA distributed the monthly food rations (110 pounds of maize/corn, 44 lb. of rice, 18 lb. of dates, 11 lb. of powdered milk and 5 liters of cooking oil) to 900 famine and drought displaced families (about 5,400 persons)
living in a make shift camp in Waberi District of Mogadishu. From August 16 to 18, Mercy-USA provided these same displaced families with the household items (kitchen kits, jerry cans, sleeping mats, blankets, soap, wash buckets,
From July 15 to July 21, Mercy-USA distributed 15-day food rations to over 1,800 starving families (about 10,800 persons) in Kenya and Somalia. In Somalia, food was provided to approximately 1,100 drought
and famine-affected displaced families (about 6,600 persons) in Mogadishu and Gal-Mudug. These extremely vulnerable families traveled many miles from their villages to seek food and refuge and are now
living in makeshift camps and damaged buildings.
In Kenya, Mercy-USA distributed food rations to about 700 drought-affected Kenyan families (about 4,200 persons), as well as Somali refugees living in Mandera County.
Your help is urgent! Please send your life-saving donation today!
* $175 helps one drought and famine affected family * $350 helps 2 families
* $525 helps 3 families * $700 helps 4 families
* $1,050 helps 6 families * $1,750 helps 10 families
* $3,250 digs a well to provide safe drinking water to at least 100 families (about 600 persons) and their livestock.
You may send your contribution immediately through the secure online donation form or mail it to:
In the US:
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development
Attn: Somalia Famine Relief
44450 Pinetree Drive, Suite 201
Plymouth, Michigan 48170-3869
Mercy USA for Aid and Development (Canada)
Attn: Somalia Famine Relief
Fiesta RPO, PO Box 56102, 102 HWY # 8
Stoney Creek, ON L8G 5C9
If you have any questions or wish to donate over the telephone, you may call us at 1-800-55-MERCY (1-800-556-3729) or (734) 454-0011.
Donations are tax deductible (US Federal Tax ID No. 38-2846307 and Canada Revenue Agency Business No. 89458 5553 RR0001).
Thank you for helping to ease the pain of the children of Somalia and their families.
Many companies will match the donations of their employees. Please ask your company if it has such a matching gift program.
PPS Dedicated to alleviating human suffering and supporting individuals and their communities in their efforts to become more self-sufficient,
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development has had offices and programs in Somalia since 1993. M-USA is also a registered PVO (Private Voluntary
Organization) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic
and Social Council (ECOSOC), and is a member of the American Council for Voluntary International Action (InterAction).
Mercy-USA has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, is certified as one of the Best in America with the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence,
and complies with the InterAction PVO Standards. Mercy-USA's projects focus on improving health, nutrition and access to safe water,
as well as promoting economic and educational growth around the world.
Additional Background Information on Somalia
Somalia has one of the highest child and maternal mortality rates in the world. One in eight children dies before reaching the age of five
and 1,600 women die for every 100,000 live births. Other social indicators for children are also among the worst in the world: one in three
children is chronically malnourished, hardly a third of families have access to clean drinking water, just 30 per cent of children go to school
and on average people only live to the age of 47, according to UNICEF.