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Africa Hunger Crisis

Africa hunger crisis: waiting in line for food

Media Contacts

Nikki Gamer, Media Relations Manager



Violence, insecurity and prolonged drought have been made increasingly worse by climate change. Consecutive years of poor rains and poor harvests have decimated crops across South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya, and in Nigeria, many are going hungry after being displaced by Boko Haram.

Some 260,000 Somalis died in 2011 because of a drought-induced famine. It’s expected that this drought is set to be much worse. Water sources across these countries have run dry; community elders all say they’ve never seen anything like it. Experts in the humanitarian sector agree: this could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe and could cost hundreds of thousands of lives, again.

Approximately 1.4 million children are at immediate risk of death without urgent action by the international community.

CRS is responding with emergency food aid, water and cash grants for the most vulnerable people, including those who have been displaced from their homes.

CRS Response

South Sudan

  • Emergency food air drops and long-term food assistance
  • Rehabilitation of water pumps and boreholes
  • Peacebuilding


  • Emergency food aid
  • Cash via mobile transfers


  • Drinking water and livestock support


  • Food assistance and water provision.

Fact Sheet

CRS South Sudan Emergency Update Factsheet- May 2017 update 
CRS Emergency Factsheet: Kenya, Somalia Drought- March 2017 update 

Press Releases

Uganda Now Hosts More Than 1 Million South Sudanese Refugees As Hunger Crisis Worsens

CRS Welcomes Vatican Aid to South Sudan; Underscores Urgent Need For Continued Assistance

CRS Joins 40+ Aid Organizations Calling on Congress to Provide $1 Billion to Address Food Crises in Africa and Yemen

CRS President Calls For Additional Funding to Address Famine in Africa

CRS Sees Severe Hunger Spreading in South Sudan

CRS Responds to East Africa Hunger Emergency


Long Drought Oppresses Kenya

Expanding Water Access During Kenya's Drought

Yearning for Peace, and Food in South Sudan

Africa Hunger Crisis: Somaliland Nears Famine

Cholera Threat Adds to South Sudan Famine Fears

Providing Water and Relief for South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda

Famine Threatens East Africa

CRS in the News

Somalia is on the Brink of Famine, And Time is Running Out, Huffington Post's The World Post

Church Aids People Hit by Africa's Famine, from Our Sunday Visitor

Famine, worsened by war, threatens South Sudanese, official says, from Catholic News Service

“South Sudan is collapsing.” Urgent aid needed to fight mass starvation, from Caritas

“Our people are witnessing mass starvation.” South Sudanese bishop in Rome to highlight famine, from Caritas

South Sudan Food Crisis Threatens the Lives of Hundreds of Thousands, from Aleteia

Suffering South Sudan, from Catholic News Agency

Experts Available for Interviews 

To arrange for an interview with our experts listed below, contact either Nancy McNally (based in Nairobi) or Nikki Gamer (based in Baltimore, MD)

  • Jerry Farrell, CRS country representative, South Sudan
  • Lane Bunkers, CRS country representative, Kenya and Somalia
  • Mohamed Dahir, CRS emergency response coordinator, Somalia


CRS in Kenya update
Hunger Crisis in Africa
Somalia B-Roll
South Sudan Air Drop


South Sudan Photo Gallery
Somalia Photo Gallery
Nigeria Photo Gallery

password for all these photo galleries: "photos"


We have been with the people of South Sudan throughout this time of hope and peril. And we are not deserting them now.

The needs in South Sudan are dire, and the humanitarian aid has flat-lined this year.

Social Media

Follow CRS’ main Facebook account, Twitter at @CatholicRelief@CRSnews


Take Action

Contact your Senators and Representatives.


 Visit the CRS Resource Center to pray for those affected by hunger in Africa.