SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND =AD The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is responding to severe drought-related famine in the Horn of Africa, the eastern part of the African continent, which includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
In Ethiopia, ADRA will respond with immediate food relief and is planning a long-term action plan in this especially devastated country. The ADRA International Headquarters office in Silver Spring, Maryland, is also sending an ADRA Rapid Assessment Team, which will provide long-term goals for relief action in Ethiopia.
"ADRA wants to respond in an efficient and effective manner, both in its immediate response and in its long-term plans for this mega-disaster," says Frank Teeuwen, ADRA director for disaster response.
In Somalia, ADRA is organizing emergency water projects in Hiran, Bakool and Galgadud and emergency food relief in Hiran and Puntland. ADRA Uganda is partnering with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) in a US$20 million feeding program in Karamoja.
ADRA Kenya is already responding with a drought mitigation project in Turkana, northern Kenya, where it has several pre-existing programs. All other ADRA country offices are assessing and gearing up for a response in their affected country.
"Abnormal displacement of people, extreme food insecurity, water scarcity, low river levels, crop failure and large scale loss of livestock are all factors behind the increased malnutrition and morbidity and mortality rates of the approximately 16 million people affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa," reports Nick Brightman, ADRA vice president for eastern Africa. "Even if the rain levels are good in Somalia, poor rains in Ethiopia will result in low river levels in Somalia, which will severely reduce the amount of potential river-fed cultivation of the surplus areas of the Juba and Shabelle valleys."
ADRA has a long-standing presence in most of the drought-affected countries. ADRA has been serving Ethiopia for more than 25 years. ADRA Ethiopia has worked in partnership with other organizations and governmental bodies to develop water resources, provide health care programs, develop educational and health facilities, improve agriculture for household use and support adult education, among others.
ADRA has worked in Somalia since the early 1990s with programs that have included food distribution, water rehabilitation, primary and emergency health care, and infrastructure rehabilitation. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently announced ADRA as the leading nongovernmental organization (NGO) in water projects in Somalia.
ADRA has been registered in Kenya since 1985 and has implemented development and relief projects over a range of sectors, including integrated agricultural programs, AIDS awareness, education and school equipment projects, and physical rehabilitation services to those affected by the U.S. bombing in Nairobi.
Established in 1956, ADRA is an independent, humanitarian agency with a presence in more than 120 countries worldwide. Anyone wishing to help ADRA=B9s response to the drought-related famine in Africa with financial contributions can call 1-800-424-ADRA or visit ADRA=B9s web page at www.adra.org.
Contact: Beth Michaels, Media
Phone: (301) 680-6355Fax: (301) 680-6370