World News

Charities join forces to #fightfamine

Posted July 14

Eight international relief organizations are saying enough is enough.

The US-based groups say more than 20 million people are facing starvation across northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and neighboring countries.

Nearly 1.4 million of the affected people are children.

The Global Emergency Response Coalition is taking action by launching a fundraising appeal from July 17 through July 28. Formed in April, the coalition is comprised of CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision.

"Our goal is to raise awareness around the world and especially at home," CARE's COO Heather Higginbottom told CNN.

Higginbottom just returned from visiting two refugee camps in Uganda where she says more than a million refugees are coming from South Sudan.

"One woman...I will not forget her. She came with eleven children," Higginbottom said. "Four were hers, three were her brother's -- who was killed in front of her -- and the others were children of relatives. She is struggling, even in this refugee camp, to feed the children."

"They eat at most twice a day. There is simply not enough," she added.

The CARE COO stressed how many other countries are afflicted with this hunger crisis.

"Each one is compelling and important. We need to shed light on the whole need," she said.

Cholera is also spreading across the countries. There are more than 300,000 cases in Yemen alone and resources are low.

Higginbottom says Americans need to know about this tragedy.

"I think the first part is drawing attention to it. I think when you can share the stories and paint the pictures, people will care. You recognize you have so much in common with them," she said. "We (the U.S.) have a very proud and long tradition of supporting people in crisis."

According to the UN, the combined threat of drought, famine and disease poses the biggest crisis the world has seen since 1945.

"We are already facing a tragedy; we must avoid it becoming a catastrophe," Secretary-General Ant-nio Guterres said.

You can contribute to the coalition's mission by going to https://www.globalemergencyresponse.org/.

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