Severe drought, high food prices, war. The combination of these factors has led to a gravely desperate situation in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. They're claiming this is the worst drought in 60 years.
Earlier today, I posted that a child dies every five seconds from hunger related causes and a total of 9 million children will die this year of preventable causes. It's easy for these stats to go over our heads, to be too abstract. Drought in Africa makes it all too real.
Watch UNICEF's Regional Emergency Advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa Robert McCarthy discuss the food crisis.
In a statement regarding the drought facing the Horn of Africa and the deluge of Somalian refugees pouring into Kenyan refugee camps, World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran stated, " The number of malnourished children receiving supplementary or therapeutic feeding in the camps has already tripled in 2011–a clear sign of the seriousness of the problem and the need for swift international action across the whole region."
There are a number of things you can do right now to help these people, as far off as they seem.
Oxfam needs donations to help supply water for drinking, cooking, washing and keeping livestock alive.
Don't have money to spare? Donate your time and attention. Follow these organizations on Twitter and Facebook. Share their links with your friends and family. These small actions have ripple effects that will make a difference.