This week, Oxfam Ambassador Actress Scarlett Johansson visited Kenya to see the devastating impact of the drought in East Africa. More than 13 million people are at risk because of a severe drought that has hit parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. In Somalia, the crisis has escalated to a famine.
She visited the Dadaab refugee camp, where tens of thousands of Somali refugees have arrived:
“The scale of poverty in Dadaab is overwhelming,” said Johansson. “I met countless women like Hawa, a local community leader, who lamented the seemingly endless struggle of the Somali people, as refugees of war and starvation and now left to suffer everyday life with the very barest of essentials.
She also visited the Turkana region of northern Kenya, where communities suffer from chronic droughts that have destroyed their lives and livelihoods.
“This is a longterm and escalating crisis exacerbated by political conflict, famine and drought that can no longer be ignored. Over half the Somalis that have died are children; an entire generation lost. This is no longer an issue that can only garner some attention, some of the time. Extreme action must be taken by the global community now.”
An Oxfam Ambassador since 2004, Scarlett visited the region to see Oxfam’s life-saving work. Oxfam aims to reach 3.5 million people with emergency relief, as well as helping with long-standing threats to livelihoods and building the resilience of the communities where it works.
– Charity Projects: Oxfam > Trip to Kenya – September 2011