A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Coalition calls on leaders to stand up, provide aid to make Somalia the last famine
Nairobi: African singers, TV personalities, activists and citizens have come together today to call on people across Africa to use social media this weekend in a day of action to end hunger in the continent. Under the coalition "Africans Act 4 Africa," Juliani, Amani, Nanjira, Chris Adwar, Collo, Fena and Baraza & Chimano from Sauti Sol asked people to use Twitter this Saturday, December 10th, and use the hash tag #LastFamine to send a clear message to African leaders that the latest crisis in the Horn of Africa must be the last famine ever for the continent.
The goal will be to call on African governments to ACT NOW and make sure that this is Africa’s #LastFamine by making #lastfamine a global “trend” on Twitter. They will also raise awareness with African leaders, the media and the general public on the importance of addressing Africa's food security crisis. African governments must invest more in long-term food production and vulnerable communities, the coalition says.
This year the Horn of Africa has experienced the world’s worst food crisis in many years, with over 13 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia in desperate need of assistance.
Amani said: “We are the face of the youth, we represent the youth. Leaders are realizing that they need to connect to the youth. That’s why social media is a powerful tool and we are using it because we want to see our governments prioritize this issue. They need to put the food crisis top of their agenda.”
Although the situation in Somalia is now showing improvement, the crisis is set to go well into next year. Also, there are presently indications that there is a looming food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa and several countries are at risk, including Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Africans Act 4 Africa says leaders of the region must Act now to prevent this from becoming a famine.
“Africa is not poor, it’s just mismanaged. We should be telling a different story of Africa right now. Our Presidents, our Prime Ministers and Ministers, they are public servants. They are there to serve the people. They must remind them that their actions are based on the will of the people”, added Nanjira.
The Africans Act 4 Africa coalition will also be holding a press conferences in Nigeria this weekend with the same message: Africans want their leaders to take action and make the latest famine in Somalia the #LastFamine.
Juliani concluded: We are Kenyans, we are Africans, we are stakeholders in this. African leaders have committed to act and we’re here to remind those leaders of their commitment. Before this crisis hit the region, we as the youth, didn’t expect to get anything from our governments. But we cannot do this on our own. We need our leaders to step up.”
Notes to editors
Follow us on Twitter: @africansact
Join the “Africans Act 4 Africa” campaign at http://www.facebook.com/groups/253215608041899/
Alun McDonald on + 254 73666 6663