A deadly mix of conflict, COVID‐19, insect attack and persistent droughts have pushed more than 7 million people across six countries in East Africa to the very edge of starvation. According to UN reports, approximately 108,000 people there were under catastrophic famine‐conditions, a phase marked by critical acute malnutrition, starvation, destitution and death. This phase is understood in the humanitarian sector as the highest and most urgent Integrated Food Insecurity Phase Classification (IPC) of level 5. Additionally, almost 7.8 million people are exposed to emergency phase (IPC4), and if things worsen are one step away from famine. As many as 26 million are classified at “crisis level” (IPC3), where action is needed now to stop them sliding into emergency.
In view of these pressing emergency needs, ZeShan Foundation made in the summer of 2021 three major emergency grants to support the ongoing famine-related relief operations in South Sudan and Ethiopia by three INGOs, namely Oxfam, World Vision and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The relief efforts include provision of food relief, clean water and sanitation, emergency healthcare and protection of vulnerable groups, especially children and women.