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Phases of Impact for Donors Concerned About East Africa

July 29, 2011

The combination of acute drought on top of political instability and dysfunction (e.g., Somalia) has led to a dire situation in East Africa that seems to be getting worse—see the State Department’s recent assessment here: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/07/169179.htm.

In any social impact area, there are short-term, mid-term, and long-term impacts that donors can address.

For donors who wish to help in East Africa, here are some phases to consider:

  • Short-term: (i.e.: get food to hungry people to prevent starvation, rehab severely malnourished children); provide services to drought refugees (safety, clean water, shelter, food, public health)
  • Medium-term: agricultural interventions, irrigation, drought resistant crops, etc.
  • Long-term: political stability, economic development, improved farming practices, etc.

All of these need to be addressed to create and sustain impact in affected communities. While no one donor can do it all, understanding the links between phases can help.

Here is a link to yesterday’s CNN report Famine in East Africa: How you can help for examples of organizations already on the ground and working in these areas: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/07/20/iyw.howtohelp.somalia.famine/index.html.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2011 4:03 pm

    While your report is dead-on, I am praying for rain. Involved in “We are the World” famine relief back in the mid 80’s, I remember all too well the challenges the same area faced. Long-term, solar water pumps and water wells are the solution. Believe it or not, there is a good, shallow water table mostly everywhere. Truck-mounted rigs do wonders, quickly. Short term, villages must get relief in the form of both water and food, or they will flee there homes, most never to return. Many have been in the same villages since the pharaohs.

    Operation USA is doing an excellent job, jumping back into the fray. I read that “USA for Africa” has once again joined forces with Operation USA, and that is how you spell “relief.” “We Are the World” benefitted greatly from the same teamwork all those years ago. I was very excited to hear this.

    Your showing the phases was helpful. With friends already on the ground in Ethiopia and the Sudan, I am hoping for speedy assistance to the drought-stricken of East Africa.

  2. September 23, 2011 4:27 am

    I believe famine is man made. Political instability gives rise to warlords and rebels who cause famine. Food doesn’t reach the hungry, and they consolidate more power. Its a vicious cycle that needs to end.

    Donors and foreign aid can only help so many.

    political stability and economic development can prevent famine from reoccurring and should be the main focus of governments dealing with famine today.

  3. Solomon permalink
    October 19, 2011 5:08 am

    Personally i think here in Africa for example in Uganda we need to change the president so that things can change for the better because there is a lot of corruption in the government its self that we opt to change for the better so that resources are divided equally in all areas of Uganda .For the God and my Country.

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