Famine Relief Fund | Development and Peace

Famine Relief Fund

In February 2017, the new UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, declared 20 million people to be at risk of death in the next six months in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Nigeria.

This particular humanitarian crisis stems from a conjunction of events that include armed conflicts coupled with severe droughts brought about by climate change. Many have fled their homes and land to escape the violence of armed conflict and are continually displaced. These issues make transportation and access to food extremely difficult.

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is present in the region and working closely with our local partners to respond to this humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of millions of people, by working with the most vulnerable populations.

South Sudan

 Key facts

  • Famine was declared on February 20, 2017 in Unity State.
  • An estimated 7.5 million people are in need, including 5.5 million who will be food insecure during the May to July period (lean season).
  • There are nearly 1.9 million displaced persons inside the country and a total of 1.74 million refugees in neighbouring countries (of which 86% are women and children, including 21,000 unaccompanied minors).
  • South Sudan is the world’s newest state (independence in 2011), but has been at war since 2013. Years of ethnic and religious strife opposing rebel groups and Sudanese forces, for control over the country’s oil resources, which constitute about 90% of the national economy, continue to this day.

 Development and Peace – Actions

We are currently working with Caritas South Sudan to provide humanitarian aid for people struggling with serious food security and nutrition problems related to drought and internal conflicts.

5,330 households have received food.

8,980 households have gained access to clean water and sanitation facilities and have developed better hygiene practices and subsistence level support.

1,000 households have found shelter in churches for 3 month periods, giving them a little respite and security.

Northeastern Nigeria

 Key facts

  • Some 8.5 million people are in need in this region, including 1.9 million displaced persons. The main needs are in the areas of food security, nutrition, protection for various populations, and water sanitation. An estimated 44,000 people are currently at risk of famine in these areas.
  • Since the beginning of the armed conflict in 2009, some 1.9 million people have abandoned their homes and fields for fear of brutalities by the terrorist group Boko Haram or reprisals by the Nigerian army.

 Development and Peace – Actions

We are currently working with Caritas Nigeria to support the population of Borno State, affected by the conflict linked to Boko Haram.

9,000 internally displaced persons, returnees, and members of host communities in Borno State will have access to nutritional aid, means of subsistence, water sanitation and healthcare including:

  • 1,500 children under five suffering from malnutrition have received effective and timely diagnosis and treatment.
  • 3,000 people have received quality medical services.


 Key facts

  • More than 6.2 million people are in need, including 1.7 million persons displaced by war and/or drought (=54% of the population).
  • In addition, an estimated 3 million people will be in a state of acute crisis by June due to ongoing drought and insecurity.
  • Young children are among those hardest hit: an acute rate of malnutrition has been identified among 363,000 of these children and more than 71,000 of them require nutrition life-saving treatment.
  • Somalia is in one of the most vulnerable regions on the planet in terms of food insecurity.
  • The country has been plagued by a civil war for decades; the current government essentially only controls the capital city Mogadishu and its surroundings.

 Development and Peace – Actions

We are providing immediate food aid to respond to the drought affecting the country.

  • 20,000 households that include pregnant women, breastfeeding women, infants and/or children under 5 have been monitored and have benefited from immunization programs. More specifically:
  • 1,500 children under the age of 1 have been vaccinated.
  • 10,000 children under five have been monitored and treated.


 Key facts

Years of conflict have pushed Yemen, already one of the world’s poorest countries, to the brink of catastrophe.

  • An estimated 18.8 million of people (70% of the population) are in need of assistance and protection to meet their basic needs, including 6.8 million people experiencing severe food insecurity.
  • Children are particularly vulnerable due to malnutrition and preventable diseases; since April 27, cholera outbreak has been reported and could affect 250,000 over the next six months.

 Development and Peace – Actions

We are aiming at working with CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) to provide:

  • Health and nutrition services.
  • Humanitarian food aid.
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives.