MCC passes $1 million mark, expands help

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has surpassed its initial target of raising $1 million for the East Africa drought and is now expanding its response to the continuing crisis in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Ahada Kusoco Hassan

Ahada Kusoco Hassan

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has surpassed its initial target of raising $1 million for the East Africa drought and is now expanding its response to the continuing crisis in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

“We are both elated and humbled by people’s willingness to entrust MCC with their contribution,” said Phil Schafran, director for resource development and communications for MCC BC.

“We are providing much-needed emergency food assistance and longer-term support to help communities adapt both now and for the future.”

MCC is planning to provide emergency food assistance for internally displaced people and their host families around the Somalia border town of Dhobley, the last town in Somalia before crossing into Kenya.

MCC also plans to assist Somalis in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. In both places, safety and security remain a significant concern so disruptions are possible.

An estimated 11 million people in the horn of Africa have been affected by the current drought.

Conflict, problems accessing food and skyrocketing food prices have added to the crisis. One of the most drought-affected countries is Somalia, where ongoing conflict and the absence of a stable government have made it difficult to get humanitarian aid to the people.

In collaboration with Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), MCC is supporting food-for-work projects in Kenya that provide thousands of Kenyan households with cooking oil, maize and beans for participating in the construction of 92 sand dams and 25 wells.

“Eastern Kenya is an arid region of the country and was already in a vulnerable position before the current drought,” Schafran said.

“MCC has worked in this region for decades. The sand dam projects being built by long-time MCC partner, Utooni development, not only will provide immediate food-for-work for participants, but the dams are a long term solution for having water in times of drought for thousands of people.”

Donations to support MCC’s response can be made by making cheques out to MCC and designated for East Africa Drought Response and sent to MCC BC 31414 Marshall Road, Box 2038 Abbotsford, BC V2T 3T8.

Credit card donations are also accepted online at donate.mcc.org or  call 604-850-6639.