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Food Crisis: Reaching people in need

Ethiopia Somaliland South Sudan

Across East Africa, hundreds of thousands of people are leaving their homes in search of food and security. With so many people on the move and in need of assistance, Handicap international is concerned that some people may fall through the cracks. Our teams in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somaliland are determined not to let this happen.

A needs assessment team in Somaliland meets a family displaced by drought and food shortages, May, 2017 | © R.Duly / Handicap International

On May 29, the Government of Canada committed to matching donations from Canadians between March 17th and June 30th, 2017 in a famine relief fund to support humanitarian efforts against the food crisis. Handicap International did not wait for this announcement to intervene in the most affected regions.


Somaliland & Puntland

Jeroen Stol, Programme Director:

“A team has just returned from Hargeisa in Somaliland, which has been badly affected by drought and food shortages. The families they met there have left their land, crops and animals behind. Caring for children or relatives with disabilities in this environment is particularly difficult and we will do everything we can to make it a little bit easier”.

Our Activities:

  • Working with other humanitarian organisations to ensure that humanitarian assistance (food, water, healthcare) is accessible for everybody.
  • Physical stimulation therapy for malnourished children.

South Sudan

Paul Critchley, Programme Director:

“It is currently very difficult to reach people most in need. Many roads are impassable after the rains and others are simply too dangerous. The people we work with are displaced, malnourished and traumatised, meaning that their health needs, both physical and mental, are huge.”

Our Activities:

  • Our ‘Flying team’ visits hard to reach areas to identify people with additional needs. They provide mobility aids such as crutches and wheelchairs, and make sure vulnerable people are included.
  • We train health partners and provide psychosocial support for people with mental health problems.


Fabrice Vandeputte, Programme Director :

“We are dealing with several major problems at once. The East has been hit by severe drought and the West is receiving thousands of refugees escaping war and famine in South Sudan. Many of the refugees are women and children suffering from malnutrition.”

Our Activities:

  • Working with other humanitarian organisations to ensure that everybody has access to safe water and food.
  • Physical stimulation therapy for malnourished children.
  • Protection of vulnerable and excluded people who may be at risk of exploitation.


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