Response Updates

Drought Threatens Millions in the Horn of Africa

Kenya Reported by Convoy of Hope

October 12, 2023 | 9:50 a.m.

When vulnerable people receive meals, they gain hope and comfort along with lifesaving nourishment.

Nanokale is a 56-year-old widow in the Turkana region of Kenya. The severe drought killed all of her livestock, making it difficult to earn an income and provide for her four children. But the food she receives from Convoy of Hope gives her the nutrition she desperately needs and reminds her she is not alone.

Lucy, a 13-year-old girl in the same region, faced hardships early on in life. Since her mother passed away when she was just 5 years old, she has taken on all of her family’s household responsibilities. Despite these challenges, Lucy has hope. The food she receives from Convoy ensures she gets the nourishment she needs and can continue helping her family. 

These are just a few of the stories from the thousands and thousands of people living in the Horn of Africa who receive meals from Convoy. The drought has created and compounded existing hardship in the region, but Convoy is there to be a source of help and hope.

August 18, 2023 | 9:23 p.m.

Convoy of Hope is working in the Horn of Africa to help alleviate the suffering caused by the incessant drought in the area.

Awoton is an 89-year-old widow from a community in Turkana, a region in northern Kenya. Turkana’s arid landscapes and a harsh climate make it susceptible to recurrent droughts and food scarcity. After several years of failed rainy seasons, the region has experienced severe challenges with malnutrition and hunger. 

Awoton has lived a life marked by challenges and loss. As a mother of four children, she has faced the hardship of raising her family on her own after losing her husband. During a time of great need, she received food from Convoy of Hope, making her feel a profound sense of care and reminding her that she is not forgotten.

The scarcity of water and fertile land has made it difficult for communities to grow enough food to sustain themselves. The Turkana people are facing chronic food insecurity, leading to malnutrition, stunted growth in children, and severe health complications. The support the people of Turkana receive during this incredibly difficult time brings comfort and relief.

July 25, 2023 | 3:09 p.m.

Convoy of Hope continually runs distributions in East Africa to bring help and hope to individuals and families affected by the yearslong severe drought in the area. Convoy has distributed more than 4.5 million meals across the region.

The need grows greater every day. The Horn of Africa has still not received sufficient rain. It will take years to heal from this level of devastation. Additionally, Russia’s decision to pull out of the grain deal with Ukraine will further exacerbate food insecurity in East Africa, as Ukraine was one of the world’s largest grain exporters.

The greatest need — identified by local leadership and Convoy’s teams on the ground — is an emergency-based food program. Individuals and families receive enough food to sustain them for a month at a time.

Continued food provision is the highest priority in this current crisis. Many families have a small amount of access to water sources, but do not have access to enough water for crops to grow or to sustain their livestock. The food Convoy provides allows families to allocate their scarce resources across the means they do not have. It helps sustain their day-to-day life.

Convoy of Hope remains committed to helping people in their most desperate times of need. Because of your support, Convoy can provide life-sustaining relief to hungry individuals and families in East Africa.

June 23, 2023 | 11:58 a.m.

Even in the shadows of looming famine, Convoy has seen the hope a meal can bring. Check out the video below to see Convoy’s work in East Africa.

May 25, 2023 | 10:37 p.m.

A new water catchment system in Kenya has welcomed its first visitors — local livestock. This is vital for pastoral residents of the country. Kenya is a part of the yearslong drought that the Horn of Africa is still experiencing.

After six failed rainy seasons, livestock are dying off in droves due to hunger and dehydration. This is especially dire since more than 60% of Kenya’s population depends on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods. This water catchment system will conserve much-needed water for communities to use in their households and for their livestock.

A new water catchment system is dug in rural Kenya to help the community withstand the effects of the yearslong drought.
After a short rain, the water catchment system receives its first visitors. Livestock are the economic foundation for many residents of the area. The ability to provide water for cattle will sustain many people in hopes that the rains will return.

To provide the best quality of water for people to drink, the water catchment system will eventually be fenced off, and there will be a trough for animals outside the fence. The benefit of letting the livestock into the catchment system is to help compact the bottom of the dam so the water stays longer.

“Right now, the biggest advantage of the catchment is for the livestock. When the people have healthy and hydrated livestock, they will make more money and can purchase bottled water in town,” said Convoy’s Chris Dudley.

The recent rains in the Horn of Africa will provide vital water for the drought-stricken area, but it will take years for crops to recover from the long and intense dry period. Convoy of Hope is there to provide essential supplies and relief as communities begin to recover.

April 4, 2023 | 3:10 p.m.

Extreme food insecurity is threatening millions as the Horn of Africa continues to experience the longest and most severe drought on record. Harvests have yielded very little. Local commodity prices are at an all-time high, limiting people’s access to food, water, and other essential supplies. 

An increase in humanitarian aid has held off famine for the time being, but the continued drought will have catastrophic consequences for the livelihoods of millions. 

Many families are pastoralists, meaning they rely on livestock for their income. The drought is killing livestock at an alarming rate. Without livestock, people’s income levels are falling drastically. Without income, their food insecurity increases. 

“I have lost so much,” said Peter, a goat herder in Turkana County, Kenya. “Close to 300 goats and 50 camels have died, and they still continue to die.”

Convoy of Hope is doing what it can to mitigate these needs by responding to the drought. Families receive take-home food kits of fortified lentils, vegetables, and rice. Teams are also providing animal silage — fortified grass for feeding livestock — to pastoral communities to help mitigate the hemorrhage of livestock mortality.

drought in Africa

In another area of Kenya, Elizabeth — a 98-year-old woman — struggles to feed her four grandchildren who are currently living with her.

“Before you brought me food, I had been struggling to feed my grandchildren and myself,” Elizabeth told Convoy. “We mostly rely on well-wishers because I am too old to go out and look for food. My children are also not able to help me. But I can share the little I have with my grandchildren.”

With the help of partners on the ground, Convoy of Hope has served more than 3.5 million meals to individuals and families. Though the drought is predicted to continue into late 2023, Convoy of Hope is committed to providing help, hope, and relief in the Horn of Africa.

March 17, 2023 | 12:02 p.m.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing a years-long severe drought. Millions of people face food and water scarcity. Many communities rely on livestock and agriculture for their livelihoods and survival. This year marks projected famine for the region.

The impact of the drought is devastating. Malnutrition rates among children are at critical levels. It highlights the need for long-term solutions that address the underlying causes of food and water insecurity. This includes investing in sustainable agriculture, improving water management systems, and promoting development that can endure extreme climates. These opportunities allow communities to make decisions on their own.

Famine, though not yet declared, is projected for 2023 following a sixth failed rainy season. The drought in the Horn of Africa has affected 36.4 million people. Food insecurity and malnutrition remain a major concern across Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

Convoy of Hope has teams on the ground distributing food to people in need. At distributions, families receive take-home food kits of fortified lentils, vegetables, and rice. So far, Convoy has served more than 2.5 million meals to people in the Horn of Africa.

Convoy is also providing animal silage, including grasses and other preserved crops. These crops — provided during dry seasons — lessen the mortality rate of livestock.

“My left eye started developing problems due to the dirty wind,” said a 62-year-old village elder. “I tried seeking medical attention, but I cannot afford it … I’d rather use the money to support my family than use it to treat myself and sleep hungry later on. So many people here have such problems.”

When a family receives food, a burden is taken off the shoulders of vulnerable people. Convoy of Hope has a driving passion to feed the world, so that people like this village elder can focus on their future instead of survival.

January 19, 2023 | 11:43 a.m.

Grace is an orphan living alone in her parent’s house in Kenya. Her father left with their camels in search of water and pasture. A few months later, her mother left to find work in Ethiopia after she could no longer profit from selling charcoal on the side of the road.

Grace is now in the care of the community members. She is one of many children Convoy of Hope is feeding amid the drought.

Africa drought response

The Overseas Security Advisory Council notes that the escalating conflict in Ukraine has contributed to lower humanitarian assistance to African nations.

Climate Shock in Africa

Much of Africa is undergoing various changes in climate. Parts of Central and West Africa experienced devastating flooding in late 2022, and South Africa is experiencing an abnormal rise in temperature. The Horn of Africa drought still has the potential to lead to famine. Large portions of Kenya haven’t seen rain in as long as three years.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network called the drought in the Horn of Africa “the most extensive and persistent drought event in decades.”

Previously, residents survived by relying on their livestock for milk and meat. But now, almost 9 million livestock have died across the region as a result of the drought — with a staggering 2.4 million deaths in Kenya alone.

The Impact of Drought on Agriculture

Several Kenyans are deprived of their food source and revenue after the devastating loss of livestock. Families are struggling to feed their children even one meal a day, often going without food for days at a time.

The United Nations News has reported that nearly 2 million children across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are estimated to need urgent treatment for acute malnutrition.

Africa drought

Convoy of Hope is continually feeding children throughout the region. Along with food distribution, Convoy of Hope and several partners are working on plans to provide silage, a preserved pasture grass. This grass is available for livestock to eat during dry seasons, which helps farming communities slow livestock mortality.

Widows Working to Grow Food for Communities

In a small area in Kenya where food is still successfully growing, Convoy of Hope is partnering with a local foundation to help with food insecurity. Roughly 600 widows have been growing food to contribute to Convoy’s distribution in Kenya.

Africa drought relief

Convoy of Hope’s Bryan Burr said, “It was moving to see the women who grow the food that we use in the distributions … they are helping us supply over 2.5 million meals so far!”

A below-average rainy season is forecasted for 2023, which means humanitarian aid, like what Convoy of Hope provides, will be vital for the communities affected by the drought. 

The situation for many living in the Horn of Africa is dire, but Convoy remains committed to being a part of the solution. Your generosity and compassion for those living through the harsh reality of a years-long drought has helped make it possible for Convoy to provide relief for these communities, bringing hope to every area of need.

December 22, 2022 | 7 a.m.

The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced that, for the time being, famine in Somalia has been delayed. The halt is due to the incredible work done by host communities and the tireless efforts of relief organizations like Convoy of Hope.

The fact that the very worst scenario has been delayed is encouraging, but millions of people in Somalia and throughout the Horn of Africa are still grappling with overwhelming hunger. Despite the delay in an official famine, the OCHA classifies the food insecurity in the area as catastrophic.

“Even without a famine declaration, the situation is extremely alarming,” said Adam Abdelmoula, U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

Famine Delayed, but Not Erased

Famine can only be declared under very specific circumstances. And while official famine has not happened as quickly as originally anticipated, Somalia is still in desperate need of rain and international assistance. According to the U.N., the number of people affected in Somalia has more than doubled to 7.8 million people this year. For perspective, that is roughly twice the population of Los Angeles living on the verge of starvation, death, and extreme acute malnutrition.

“The scale and severity of the emergency are expanding as displacement continues unabated, food and water prices remain high, critical gaps in the response persist, and as the current rains have been poor and insufficient for replenishing water sources and sustaining grazing fields for livestock,” said Abdelmoula.

According to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, famine is still projected in three areas within Somalia. Households in these areas are already experiencing very high acute malnutrition or can only meet their food needs by going to extreme lengths. Another failed rainy season in the spring could push them over into official famine if humanitarian aid doesn’t continue.

Humanitarian Aid Saves Lives

In neighboring Kenya, people are still struggling to feed themselves, their families, and their livestock. Marsabit County has not received rain for three years, and more than 1 million livestock have died.

Mr. Waqo, a herder who has lost 60 camels worth more than $25,000, said, “The camels die at the water wells after drinking water, having eaten nothing for days. We must drag them away to avoid the stench and allow people to fetch water.”

The city of Sololo is 400 miles away from Nairobi, the country’s capital. It takes 13 hours to get to Sololo by road, so aid is difficult to come by. Thankfully, Convoy of Hope recently sent more than 22,000 pounds of food to Sololo, which was then distributed to neighboring communities.

Averting famine in Africa

Many of the people in these villages are women and children. Men go out looking for water and pasture for their cattle while women stay at home taking care of children and getting food for the family. Daki, a mother of five, said, “Three of my children often rely on school-feeding programs to survive.”

Sadly, according to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit in Somalia, the number of people supported with food assistance next spring is expected to decline by a jaw-dropping 60 to 80 percent. Organizations like Convoy of Hope that have committed to serving the region for the long haul will be more important than ever.

Thank you for joining with us to provide life-sustaining food and nutrition to those struggling under the weight of drought and impending famine.

November 12, 2022 | 3:40 p.m.

When Convoy of Hope team members arrived to distribute food at Locheresekon village in Turkana County, Kenya, they were met by a community filled with anticipation. 

Turkana is one of the driest regions in the country. Convoy of Hope has been serving those in Kenya for years but even more so since the devastating drought has plagued the region. Many families in Turkana have lost their livestock, with milk production dropping to zero. 

The morning of the distribution, men sat in a local church eagerly waiting for what happened next. Mothers tried to comfort their hungry, thirsty babies. Some had jerry cans, hoping to get water for the younger children, who carried small containers for food. School children in their uniforms sat on their school bags and others on jerry cans, patiently waiting to receive some food.

Hope in the Horn of Africa

Convoy of Hope team members unloaded boxes and boxes of fortified rice-and-lentil food blends. There was enough food to feed all of those gathered that day. Convoy also sent bags of food home with those who came, ensuring that they had sustenance in the days that followed. 

But Convoy didn’t just send them home with full stomachs. Team members sent those in the community home with the knowledge they needed to care for themselves in the future.

“We don’t do anything,” said community ambassador Lawreen Keta Achieng, referencing the cooking demonstration that occurred before the distribution. “We have the women do it so they can learn how to do it by themselves.”

The Convoy team also brings extra water for everyone to wash their hands with, emphasizing the importance of hygiene. Convoy’s integrated programming approach ensures that the people it serves aren’t just given hope for one day. Instead, the knowledge and skills they receive can help them thrive far into the future. 

Here are the stories of a few people we served recently in Kenya. 

A Fearful Farmer

Many of the residents are part of the Massai culture and rely on livestock for their livelihoods. When their livestock die, their income levels and food security plummet. 

Taningo, a herdsman, searched for elusive pasture for his remaining livestock. All of them were too weak to lumber out to graze.

“The fields are full of carcasses and skeletons,” he said. “Our [settlements] are inhabitable due to the stench of death. We help each other transport carcasses from our homes.”.

On the day Convoy served Locheresekon, Taningo and his sons had just finished disposing of fresh cow carcasses from his sheds. “This is the order of the day. Our hope is that the heavens open up soon,” he sighed.

In such a dark hour, Convoy provided warm food to Taningo and his sons. Despite the heartache they were feeling, they were smiling as they ate. The day may have been discouraging, but knowing Convoy had a presence in their village made their future brighter. 

A Worried Mother

Teresa came to the Convoy of Hope distribution to get relief food for her seven children. She has no formal education, but her Swahili is good nonetheless. She shared with the Convoy of Hope team that she was married at 17 but lost her husband six years later. She remarried but completely depends on her new husband for food. In turn, he depends on livestock, most of which have died in the drought.

“My youngest is three years old. But because of lack of food, I had to wean him early,” she explained. “We no longer have livestock, save for a few goats, so I have resorted to fetching and selling water or firewood to buy food.”

According to our partners in the region, malnutrition in children is at a critically dangerous level — nearly 14,000 children under 5 years old require treatment for severe malnutrition, and 50,700 more need treatment for moderate malnutrition. Children depend on school feeding programs.

The food Teresa received from Convoy of Hope allowed her to spend the money she earns on other vital things instead of purchasing food for her family.

A Lonely Widower

As the community’s ambassador, Lawreen knows that the elderly are particularly vulnerable. “They can’t physically get up and go looking for food. A lot of them will sit in their house and, if a neighbor remembers them, they’ll bring them food.”

Charles is in his 60s and lost his wife earlier this year. Following her death, their children left home to fend for themselves. The 60-year-old’s eyes glisten with grief as he narrates how he was unable to get enough food for the love of his life in her last days.

“Before my wife died, she had stayed hungry for a week. And even when I went to beg for food from neighbors, it was never enough. On the day she died, we were together in the house, and I watched her breathe her last. I have no wife to care for me. The drought is still here, and I sometimes have to go to people’s houses to beg for food. Sometimes, my neighbors sympathize with me and invite me for a meal. Since her death, I have been unable to sleep.”

Whenever he found food, he took it to his daughter to cook for him. If there was no food, Charles would go to bed hungry.

That night, he went to bed full.

A Commitment to the Sahel

Africa’s Sahel region has suffered from drought and malnourishment for years. Years ago, before famine was imminent in the region, Convoy of Hope committed to serving those living in this region to combat the looming hunger crisis. 

And now, as drought grips the Horn of Africa as well, Convoy is resolute in helping vulnerable people across the continent. 

“These people are stuck,” Lawreen lamented, her voice full of emotion. “There’s really no solution living out there in the middle of nowhere. Having this food genuinely gives them hope to live another day.”

Convoy of Hope is acting now — in Africa, and around the world — to move children and communities from food insecurity into healthy and fulfilling futures.

October 20, 2022 | 4:19 p.m.

As the drought in East Africa continues to devastate lives, Convoy of Hope and its partners are distributing food and providing resources to communities throughout the region. Along with the help of the Kenyan Assemblies of God, Convoy organized a major distribution in Turkana County this week. Serving a fortified rice and lentil mix, Convoy and partners fed 1,080 families in need. This included 180 children.

drought in Africa

“The first thing you see is the kids running toward the cars,” said Loreen Keta Achieng, the community ambassador who helped organize the distribution. “And they’re always carrying small containers that they use as plates, because they know we’re here to give them food.”

The Power of Education

Along with prepared meals, volunteers teach parents and caretakers how to cook the meals. After everyone eats, they send bags of fortified lentils and rice home with families — along with instructions on how to prepare them properly. The instructions are important because rice and lentils are not part of the normal diet in Turkana. Often, it’s the first time they’ve ever seen or tasted either.

drought in Africa

If they are lucky, the people in Turkana County eat once every two to three days. Sometimes, they go a week without food. The meal that volunteers shared with the community was incredibly special.

“The food is so hot because we just made it, but they will eat it anyway!” Loreen said with a smile. “After that, they’re happy. They’re playing. They’re asking for more food. And we tell them we’re sending more home with their mom.”

Drought in Africa Combatted by Strong Partnerships

Within the Horn of Africa, approximately 3.5 million people are in increasing danger of extremely critical food insecurity.

“This is not an ‘Instagram response.’ It’s a rescue,” said a local Convoy of Hope partnerHe explained that much of the international aid that’s sent out globally comes from the Middle East or the United States. Unfortunately, that means waiting two to four months for a container of supplies to arrive in East Africa.

But Convoy purchases the food it distributes for Kenya in Kenya. This keeps local businesses running, people in Kenya employed, and the economy stimulated.

“The employees are Kenyan, the volunteers are Kenyan, everything is Kenyan,” said Convoy of Hope’s partner on the ground. “When you’re trying to change and support a community, you’ve got to partner with them 100 percent.”

For this community in Turkana County, most households must send at least one family member to walk 8 miles for water. Pastures and farmlands have dried up, and livestock — the most valuable asset to this region — is dying in droves. To this point, the livestock mortality number is a staggering 2.4 million animals. That number is expected to grow.

For predominantly pastoral and nomadic livestock farming communities, this is an increasingly desperate time. Raising livestock is at the core of their economy. Without healthy cattle to sell, there are few other options to make money. It isn’t only an economic issue, though. It’s also cultural.

“It is a part of their way of life, especially men,” said Loreen. “That is who they are … so without the cattle, the men don’t have anything else. It’s part of their identity.”

Convoy and its partners are striving to create a system where, when aid organizations leave, communities in Kenya can create long-term change themselves. And it’s vital they do so. With the drought in Africa only getting worse and the needs becoming greater, everyone involved must become part of the solution.

October 6, 2022 | 9:44 a.m.

With every passing day, several countries in Africa are inching closer to an officially declared famine. Relief is desperately needed at this time. Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are most at-risk, but the entire sub-Saharan region is struggling. People are dying, and entire ways of life are on the brink of extinction. Convoy of Hope is doing everything it can to help address the dire need. And even in the shadow of a looming famine, Convoy has seen the hope a meal can bring. 

A Current Tragedy

The news coming out of the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia, is heart-wrenching. According to the United Nations, thousands of people have died, including nearly 900 children under the age of five. Almost two-thirds of young children and pregnant women in displacement camps suffer from acute malnutrition.

“We cannot wait for famine to be declared; we must act now to safeguard livelihoods and lives,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization Office of Emergencies and Resilience.

While those in Somalia are at the epicenter of the suffering, nations throughout Africa are gripped by unrelenting drought. In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, women are dying during pregnancy or soon after giving birth at five times the pre-war rate. Children under 5 are dying at twice the same rate. Uganda, South Sudan, and Kenya are all experiencing extreme drought. Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Mali are all affected, too. While there has not been an official declaration of famine, relief is desperately needed to save lives.

Famine Relief Delivered

SERV, one of Convoy of Hope’s partners in Kenya, sent us this photo and an update about a man named Joseph. 

The first time the team met him, he was severely malnourished and too weak to walk. Since meeting Joseph, the team has been able to continually provide him with food and medication. He is now recovered and is back on his feet and walking again. He even walks to the nearby church to pray. Joseph is grateful to SERV and the Convoy of Hope team for bringing him hope in his time of need.

The image has more significance than some might recognize.

“Culturally, the act of holding the wrist when shaking hands is reserved as a sign of deference and respect for your elders,” explained Convoy of Hope’s Chris Dudley. “This man paid incredible honor to Pastor Moses by shaking his hand while grasping his wrist.”

For Convoy of Hope, transformation sometimes means feeding entire communities through Agriculture, Children’s Feeding, or Women’s Empowerment. Sometimes, that means providing groceries or supplies for an entire town or neighborhood through Community Events, Rural Initiatives, or Disaster Services.

And sometimes, transformation means feeding one man every day so he can live a life that isn’t dominated by hunger.

September 12, 2022 | 4:03 p.m.

Abroad network of like-minded people and organizations is essential to reversing the damage of drought and malnutrition. In the first week of September, Convoy of Hope and its partners at SERV International distributed 300,000 meals to communities across northern Kenya. These communities are some of many caught in the talons of Africa’s hunger crisis.

“The community members in the villages were grateful to Convoy of Hope for going out of their way to bring hope and food to their remote villages,” said a member of the SERV team.

The villages stand in isolation, with no nearby schools, maintained roads, stores, or medical clinics. Simply getting to them is a challenge — a four-wheel-drive vehicle is the only practical option. It’s in these areas that food is most needed.

Before Convoy of Hope’s team ever arrived, community members camped in groups under trees and patiently waited. When they saw the delivery vehicle, they ran toward it.

Africa hunger relief

Before the distribution, Convoy demonstrated how to prepare the food. A few young boys gathered firewood, placed the logs in the middle of three big rocks, and lit a fire. One of the women brought out a large pot that the team used to prepare the meal.

All the children sat around the fire, watching the food cook until it was ready. After everyone ate, the change in the atmosphere was palpable.

A Step in the Right Direction

“The once weak and gloomy children [are] now happy and playful,” reported a SERV team member. “The mothers were especially happy to see their children smiling and playing again. They hope that they will receive more food from the team.”

Every meal distributed is a step in the right direction. And through partnerships with organizations throughout Africa, Convoy of Hope is doing everything possible to help people affected by relentless drought and hunger. To read more about what this hunger crisis means, click here.

September 1, 2022 | 5 p.m.

Many East African countries have been battling hunger for years. The crisis in Africa in relation to food is incredibly complex. With Ukrainian ports being tied up during the war for the past six months, their situation has grown desperate. An in-country team member from Convoy described the situation in Kenya: “It’s grim. People are dying.

Yesterday, Convoy of Hope sent nine tons of food to the drought-stricken northern reaches of Kenya. On top of this aid, the first shipment out of Ukraine since the war started recently arrived in East Africa. The shipment, carrying approximately 23,000 metric tons of grain, is hopefully the first of many to land in the region.

Africa famine relief

‘It’s grim.
People are dying.’

—Chris Dudley, Convoy of Hope

Hope Persists Amid the Food Crisis in Africa

Elephants are gathering at one of Convoy of Hope’s water catchment systems in Kenya. The drought in the region has progressed to the point where wildlife is desperately searching for water and directly competing with local communities for the precious resource.

“They didn’t have elephants around for years, but they came back because of the water,” said Convoy’s Chris Dudley. “They broke down our fence and claimed our spot. Nobody is arguing with them.”

But even amid terrible circumstances, hope persists. One community leader told a Convoy team member that when the elephants walk in the mostly dry water catchment area, it compacts the soil. Meaning, the system will do an even better job retaining water when it refills.

Hope — in the face of this level of adversity — is truly inspiring. 

What Happens When Famine Is Declared

According to a recent article published by The Guardian, “There is no specific funding mechanism triggered by the declaration of a famine, but U.N. agencies and aid organizations have historically been able to assume that the labeling of the crisis would prompt sluggish donors to step up.”

Kenya Drought

In short, it’s up to individual governments, agencies, and nonprofits to use the declaration of famine to spur the world into action and help in the situation.

Convoy of Hope is honored to come alongside partners and donors to bring help to the hopeless. To provide relief through Convoy of Hope’s Crisis Relief Fund, click here.

August 4, 2022 | 4:56 p.m.

Millions of people — specifically in KenyaEthiopia, and Somalia — could die from impending famine in Africa, according to The International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC recently issued its first-ever “Crisis Alert” warning on the dire situation. 

“By the time a famine is officially declared later this year,” the organization said, “it will be too late to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

“Convoy’s role is critical because of the speed, agility, and expansive global network we use to serve people in dire need.”

Heath Adamson, Convoy’s Senior Vice President of Global Program

Convoy of Hope has been responding to hunger in the region for years. It will continue to do so in the midst of ever-growing needs.

“Our intervention is vital because this is a real, urgent, pressing crisis,” said Convoy’s Dr. Heath Adamson. “Economic systems and governmental structures are not always enough to serve those steeped in hopelessness. Convoy’s role is critical because of the speed, agility, and expansive global network we use to serve people in dire need.”

A Slow-Onset Disaster

The impending famine has been developing for years. After four failed rainy seasons, the number of people going hungry in the Horn of Africa will surpass 20 million by September. According to the IRC’s report, more than 3 million people are already experiencing the most extreme levels of hunger.

Famine in Africa Mother

The war in Ukraine has made matters even worse. Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia all import roughly 90% of their grain from Russia and Ukraine. Only until recently, grain exports were halted because of the conflict.

“There is nothing natural about famines in the 21st century,” IRC CEO David Miliband said in a statement. “While a complex set of factors are driving extreme hunger, the slide into famine and mass death is man-made, driven by international inaction. This crisis was predictable and preventable. It has been unfolding over two years of repeated warnings and worsening hunger. What we are witnessing is an unnatural disaster of catastrophic proportions.”

Convoy’s Response

Convoy, already serving in Ethiopia and Kenya, saw the warning signs of drought and the potential for famine years ago. Convoy has also since added South Sudan to the list of countries it serves.

“We are not naive — the problem is greater than any one organization can solve,” said Adamson. “But Convoy’s commitment to engage early and strong presence in Eastern Africa makes it possible for the end of the story to be rewritten for those we serve.”

The crisis in Eastern Africa is complex, involving supply chain upheavals, disruption in food shipments from Ukraine, climate shock, radicalism, and the exploitation of the poor. However, Convoy’s commitment has always been to help save lives and bring hope to as many people as possible. What is occurring in Africa is no exception.

To support Convoy of Hope’s work in Africa addressing the widespread food crisis, click here.


This week Convoy team members visited the island of Mayreau — an island that was nearly erased by #HurricaneBeryl — to distribute supplies. In #Texas, 1.3 million people are still without power. Here's @Ethan_Forhetz with the latest update. Learn more at