Photo : Tobin Jones / Danish Refugee Council

The Danish Refugee Council declares corporate emergency in the fight against famine

Due to the severe hunger crisis currently plaguing several countries in Africa and in Yemen, the Danish Refugee Council has decided to declare corporate emergency and thereby dedicate all available manpower to the fight against hunger.

29.03.2017

The Danish Refugee Council works in all of the affected areas and will strengthen its efforts across borders in order to reach as many people as possible.

- In the four countries, Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia alone, around 20 million people are in danger of starvation. But also in the neighboring countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda several millions of people are at risk of hunger and severe malnutrition. This situation drives people to flee in search of food. It is not least evident here in Somalia, where people walk for days - even weeks - to reach places where it is possible to get help, says head of the Danish Refugee Council's Division for Emergency, Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen. He is currently in Somalia, where the need for increased efforts is desperate.

- Today I spoke with several women who were waiting in line to get food for themselves and their babies. They had had to leave their homes and walk for days to get help. If not, they feared that their babies would not survive much longer. The situation for these people is dire, says Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen.

According to the UN a full-fledged famine has already hit parts of South Sudan and without massive and urgent help it is only a matter of time before Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen reach the same catastrophic level of emergency. The humanitarian community therefore describes the situation as the ‘four famines’ and warns that it will be the worst humanitarian disaster since the establishment of the UN in 1945.

- It is an extremely complex situation that requires a coordinated, rapid and comprehensive action. We have been working in the area for a long time, but now we are increasing our efforts by proclaiming a so-called 'corporate emergency'. This means that the entire organization is involved in the effort, and especially coordination across national borders is strengthened. Drought does not respect borders but is currently forcing thousands to cross them in search for food and water. It is important to be able to help them, no matter where they are located, says Danish Refugee Council’s Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen.