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Snapshot: Help for the Horn of Africa « International Aid Services America

Two proud providers share their abundant gratitude for help in a season of drought.

In late 2014, I wrote you in regard to the severe drought that was affecting over 13 million lives in the Horn of Africa. With spring rains failing to materialize, crops in the region failed, resulting in hundreds of thousands of Africans and livestock in desperate need of food, water and other basic necessities.

Ethiopian Country Director for IAS, Ketema Kinfe, stated that the situation in recent months has become especially serious for society’s most vulnerable members: women, children and the elderly. Death by dehydration and starvation has spread as the crisis has grown.

Since the beginning of this emergency, IAS has been on the ground in Ethiopia and Kenya, distributing food and water and other basic essentials to more than 30,000 people.  In addition, we’ve drilled several wells in order to help provide long-term solutions to this immediate need.

“Some of the hardest hit regions have been difficult to reach,” says Ketema Kinfe, “due to a lack of fuel and the extreme distances we must travel to render assistance.” Nevertheless, IAS has worked diligently to overcome these challenges by transporting water and food supplies to schools, hospitals, and the most vulnerable individuals. IAS is also raising awareness about hygiene and sanitation, to help prevent the spread of disease in some of the most affected rural areas.

The situation is still desperate, and recipients of aid have been extremely grateful for IAS’s intervention on their behalf. When asked about the assistance he received from IAS, Ikoore Mitheega from Kenya said, “During the drought, me and my family of seven people had no food. We did not know where or how we could get food because there was no rain and no harvests. We became very weak. Thanks to the food we received from IAS, we’ve gotten our strength back!”

“AND IF
YOU GIVE YOURSELF TO THE HUNGRY
AND SATISFY THE DESIRE OF THE AFFLICTED,
then your light will rise in darkness
and your gloom will become like midday.”
- Isaiah 58:10

Even the animals are affected by the barren earth.

M’Mbwera Ntende, age ninety-four and also from Kenya, tells this story of trying to feed his group of friends and relatives. “I have received food distributions from IAS for a few months now, and I have always had a person who helped me to get the food. The food I get I always share with eight other people. But during the last food distribution, the food never came to me, so I decided to go and bring it myself. The most important thing for me now is to bring the food back to my group so that they don’t have to be hungry. Thank you, IAS, for helping us!”

But the testimony of seventy-four-year-old Jhanna Meeni, from the Tharaka province in Kenya, sums up perfectly why IAS stays engaged in this crisis. “Me and my family of seven people are so happy and thankful for the food we have received from IAS. We used to go to bed hungry, but we don’t have to anymore. My hope is that I can eventually start supporting my family again!”

Thanks to you, IAS is actively engaged in saving lives in the Horn of Africa. Your life-giving support is sustaining many in their hour of need as they try desperately to reclaim their lives.

In gratitude,

Douglas Mann
President, IAS America

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