The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

East Africa Crisis

We are working with our partners in South Sudan to help save the lives of millions of people facing starvation, and responding to thousands of others in Kenya facing serious food shortages. 

A serious drought affecting a number of countries across East Africa has exacerbated the existing emergency in South Sudan created by ongoing civil conflict since 2013, and famine was declared by the South Sudan government and the UN in Unity State earlier this year - the first official famine declared anywhere in the world since the crisis in Somalia in 2011, when 250,000 people died.

Although those areas where famine was declared are still in critical condition, early detection and a rapid response from organisations like Caritas have succeeded in pulling them out of famine.

However, more than 2 million people are on the brink of starvation across the country, and around half the population (6 million people) are now facing extreme food shortages. 

Drought has also badly affected northern Kenya, with the government declaring a crisis situation. Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda are also facing major food crises which the Caritas network is responding to.

South Sudan response

  • Emergency food
  • Shelter and essential household items
  • Seeds and tools
  • Peace building activities

Turkana, Kenya response

  • Emergency food to vulnerable groups
  • Water


Personal stories

Francis Ojoadi

Rosa Lyo

Torit Hospital


We have been working alongside Caritas South Sudan responding to urgent needs in the country since mid-2016 when violence flared up in the world’s newest nation. Our Senior Humanitarian Programmes Coordinator, Mark Mitchell, visited the country in 2017 to assist Caritas South Sudan in the design and development of the relief programme and he returned in March 2018 to assist with the response to the famine.

Utilising the extensive Church network, Caritas is able to reach remote areas with emergency supplies. Seeds and tools are also being distributed to communities who have retained their land, to increase food security and self-sufficiency in the long term and restock empty markets so displaced people are able to buy food at a reasonable price again.

We have an historic relationship with communities in Turkana, northern Kenya, which has also been badly affected by the drought. We are responding to needs in the region in collaboration with ChildFund New Zealand. In 2012 and 2013, we partnered with Trocaire to respond to a serious drought in Turkana, and the recovery programme included resilience-building work that means communities have fared better in this current emergency.



Thanks to the New Zealand Aid Programme, all donations to the East Africa Crisis Appeal will be doubled. 

*Select East Africa Crisis Appeal if donating online


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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust