In 2011, the Horn of Africa was hit by a major food crisis that affected millions of people in drought-stricken areas of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Somalia was the worst-hit country in the region and the United Nations declared a famine in two of its southern areas in July 2011. Tens of thousands of Somalis fled the drought and conflict-fraught country to neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti seeking food and refuge.
Seventeen JCDR member organizations came together to form the Jewish Coalition for East Africa Relief to collectively address the surging crisis in the region.
Thanks to the generous contribution of donors, the Coalition's response included:
- Distributing food to over 10,000 at-risk households in Kenya through the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and their local partner, Northern Aid. The Coalition and AJWS also subsidized school fees for over 300 girls in drought-stricken areas in order to continue their education during this difficult time.
- Purchasing and distributing 2,500 blankets to Somali refugees through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The Coalition’s continued support also enabled JDC to provide nutritional supplements to 480 malnourished Somali refugees living in the Jijiga refugee camp.
- Purchasing and delivering 1,000 life-saving bed nets to families seeking safety in refugee camps through Nothing But Nets.
- Directly supporting the rehabilitation of hundreds of malnourished children through nutrition and immunization programs in partnership with UNICEF.
- Providing Greenhouse Farmer Kits integral to draught risk reduction to over a dozen communities in northeastern Kenya through World Jewish Relief and their partner, the Kenya Red Cross. Additionally, World Jewish Relief partnered with a local NGO in developing a long-term disaster risk reduction strategy to build resilience and support livelihood development in a flood-prone community in the southwest of Kenya.