From being abundantly rich in natural resources such as diamonds and gold to attracting millions of tourists to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, the potential of Africa is endless. Sadly, due to decades of war, famine and natural disasters the continent is on the brink of destruction.
Africa is home to 1.3 billion of the world’s population across 54 countries but much of it has suffered from war, famine and natural disasters. Contributing factors to this state of affairs are hundreds of years of exploitative colonial rule as well as the recently recognised effects of global warming. As a result, the continent is full of suffering in the form of displacement of millions of Africans, famine, drought and numerous diseases. The devastating Cyclone Idai which battered Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe is just a recent example. Killing thousands of people and displacing many more, the cyclone weakened three already economically unstable countries.
The humanitarian crisis in Africa has only gone from bad to worse in recent times with UNHCR reporting that 18 million people – that’s 26 percent of the world’s refugee population – is hosted by sub-Saharan countries such as Nigeria and South Sudan. Lack of basic resources like food, clean water and vital medicine inevitably affects life expectancies across Africa. The Telegraph reports that while the average life expectancy across most of the developed world sits at around 80, Africa’s drops to a depressing 60 with Sierra Leone holding the record at just 50.
One of the biggest groups of people currently at risk in Africa are the millions facing starvation across East Africa. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are suffering from a severe drought which has caused crops to fail and cattle to die. It is estimated that over 13 million people are facing food and water shortages in the region. Crisis Aid is on the ground providing food parcels to the most remotely located people.
South Sudan is also the focus of the work of Crisis Aid. Four years of civil war have left the country in a humanitarian crisis. Disrupted political infrastructure followed by poor harvests have left 7 million people – that’s roughly half the population of South Sudan – facing starvation and death. You can help by donating towards our emergency food parcels.
At Crisis Aid we recognise the horrors that so many Africans have suffered across the continent and we are on a mission not only to provide emergency aid but help realise the continents long-term potential. With programmes such as Education in Africa and Africa Water Well we envisage a brighter future for our African families across Uganda, Somalia, Gambia and more.
As always, children are the biggest demographic to suffer the consequences of any disaster whether man-made or natural. An international children’s charity estimates there are currently over 50 million orphans in Africa and this number is only set to rise over the next few years. Crisis Aid has always tried to put children first as they are the future of our world. You can help us by donating to our orphan fund.
Ongoing conflicts and disaster in Africa can only mean an increase in the severity of food shortages across the continent. But we can strive to do our best to provide emergency aid now and help implement long term plans for the future.