Over two million people received aid with Dutch Giro555 funds
One year after launching the Giro555-campaign for victims of famine in South-Sudan, northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, over two million people in those countries received aid with Giro555 funds. On May 17, Giro555 published a report and video (both in Dutch) outlining the achievements of the humanitarian response. The report shows that all funds raised through the Giro555 appeal, 35 million euros, have been spent within one year, mainly on food (43%), livelihood (23%), water and sanitation (17%). Since the needs in the affected countries are still high, all relief organizations within Giro555 continue to offer assistance with funds from other donors.
On March 6 2017, Giro555, an alliance of eleven Dutch relief organisations that campaign together when major disasters require a national appeal, launched the national campaign ‘Help victims of famine’ for the victims of hunger-related crises in South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, and in the neighbouring countries Kenya, Niger, Ethiopia and Uganda. By a combination of conflict, (extreme) drought and collapsed economies, 20 million people in those countries faced starvation, and almost 1,5 million children were severely malnourished. Stephen O’Brien, the UN under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, warned that the world faced ‘the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the second world war’. People in The Netherlands donated 35 million euros for humanitarian assistance.
With the donated funds over two million people received assistance. For example, 466.000 people received food aid, 439.000 children were screened for malnutrition In addition to distributing 22,8 million litres of water, 302.000 people received information about hygiene and illness prevention. Over 116.000 people were given drought-resistant seeds, fishing and agricultural tools to enable them to provide for their own livelihoods, and 432,000 cattle were vaccinated.
Farah Karimi, head of this Giro555 campaign: In the 21stcentury, starvation is unacceptable, is what people in The Netherlands showed. The generosity of the Dutch public was not only an encouragement for the victims, but also for all the aid workers who faced considerable challenges when providing aid. The affected area is huge and some regions are difficult to reach because of bad roads. Violence, conflicts, collapsed, markets and government institutions functioning badly, large groups of people adrift and the outbreak of cholera further complicated emergency assistance activities. Despite all those challenges, relief organizations did everything they can to provide emergency aid to the people in the affected areas and were able to help over two million people. That makes me extremely proud.’
Unfortunately, the hunger-related crises are not over yet and humanitarian assistance is still needed.Famine have been averted in some regions, in other even more people are still at risk. Specially in Yemen and South Sudan, the situation worsened because of violence and conflict. In Yemen, the number of people facing severe food insecurity doubled. Many of the relief organisations participating in Giro555 will continue to raise attention and funds, and to deliver humanitarian assistance. Besides, they urge local governments and the international community to work on structural measures and solutions.