MAF Delivers: East Africa Famine

Updated 22 July 2011

Mission Aviation Fellowship is flying in response to the famine relief efforts in northern Kenya.

Our Kenya operation has been overloaded with requests for flights into Somalia, Ethiopia and northern Kenya.

With a famine officially declared by the UN, we are transferring a Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft from our South Africa base to assist with relief flights, and additional short-term pilots and engineering support is being provided.

Our Kenya operation will therefore have seven aircraft making an immediate difference to the work of aid agencies and missions operating across East Africa - assisting in the famine crisis, the ongoing huge need for air support in South Sudan and other regular demands. Our Uganda operation is now handling additional flights into South Sudan to help the Kenya team to cover the additional demand.

At this stage, most of the flight requests into the famine zone are for officials, NGOs and missions who are visiting the area to carry out needs assessments and to determine how they are going to respond. This important assistance enables aid agencies to better respond to the needs as the famine response gathers pace.

We’ve also flown the ambassadors and high commissioners of the UK, Canada, Norway and the USA to Dadaab, where more than 1,000 Somali refugees every day are walking to with the hope of receiving aid at the world’s largest refugee camp, now housing an estimated half a million people.

We are urgently trying to increase capacity so we can meet increasing demand, and the requests for famine relief flights from Tearfund and World Vision.

A growing crisis

The UN officially declared a famine in parts of the affected areas; however, the situation has been building for many months.

As early as 2009, serious drought conditions were affecting the country and we flew emergency food aid to Lodwar to help nursery schools and also those most affected in the wider community.

This March, we flew UNICEF crisis consultant Martin to Marsabit where malnutrition was affecting a third of the population and water sources were drying up.

In Moyale, on the Ethiopian border, no rain has fallen since January 2010.

MAF has been serving this region for decades and will continue to serve there in the long term.

Mission Aviation Fellowship

Castle Hill Avenue, FOLKESTONE, CT20 2TN UK, Tel: 01303 852 819

Registered Charity Number 1064598 (England & Wales) and SC039107 (Scotland)

Website by Baigent