27th July, 2017: World Vision has joined eight leading international relief organisations to launch the Hunger Relief Fund in response to the 1.4 million children facing starvation across Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and neighbouring countries.
Launched with support from George Clooney and Lily Donaldson, the fund aims to provide life-saving assistance to more than 1.4 million severely malnourished children and 17 million people who at risk of dying of starvation in the coming months without drastic help from the international community.
The coalition is comprised of CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision.
World Vision US CEO Rich Stearns recently returned from northern Kenya along the border of South Sudan. There he was shocked by the level of the need in a crisis no one seems to be talking about.
“In my 19 years as the head of World Vision, this is some of the toughest stuff I’ve had to see. The animals died first because there was no pastureland or water, and once the animals die, people die next, he said.
“I met with orphaned children who now must take care of themselves. I talked with mothers who have no milk for their hungry and crying infants. I don’t often feel helpless as the World Vision president, but seeing the desperate need, it leaves you feeling almost helpless.”
In Yemen, a child under five dies every 10 minutes because of the lack of food and basic resources. In South Sudan, families have been forced to flee their homes and are surviving on water lilies alone while hiding in swamps. In Somalia, teenagers walk for hours just to get enough water to last their families one day. In Nigeria, there have been reports of people eating sand to ward off starvation. Families are dying not only from hunger, but also from diseases such as cholera and measles because they lack clean water and sanitation.
The Global Emergency Response Coalition will use Hunger Relief Fund donations to help those already going hungry and on the brink of famine survive and lay the groundwork for recovery.
“We can make a difference together and give people who are suffering more than food and resources. We can give them hope and show them they're not invisible — and they're not alone,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.
Partners including BlackRock, Google, PepsiCo, Twitter and Visa are working with the Global Emergency Response Coalition to help raise awareness and funds during the two-week appeal. The PepsiCo Foundation and BlackRock also will each generously match donations up to $1 million.
The appeal lasts through July 28, 2017 and donations to the Hunger Relief Fund can be made at www.globalemergencyresponse.org.