Communications Coordinator, LCIF
Oak Brook, Illinois, USA — Lions Clubs International Foundation is supporting Lions in Africa in providing famine relief through an emergency grant for US$75,000 to help support refugee camps. These camps deliver humanitarian aid directly to those in need, including vulnerable children and women. Lions have provided more than eight tons of relief supplies.
Lions in neighboring countries are quickly responding by providing aid. Lions have formed a Lions Relief Team to coordinate emergency relief efforts and are collaborating with the Red Cross, UNICEF and other relief agencies in Kenya. Lions are also beginning to work with organizations in Ethiopia.
"The week of August 22, Lions of Kenya went to the affected areas to distribute our second emergency relief supplies. Lions from Nairobi and other volunteers went into the far North Eastern Regions and also managed to go into Somalia under Military escort to give out food relief and drinking water. It took our Lions, under the dynamic Leadership of Lion Irshad Sumra two days to get there and spent two days giving out vital supplies," said Past International Director Manoj Shah from Kenya. "We have finalized our next relief activity with UNICEF, which is targeted at providing for the special needs of more than 6,000 affected mothers and children at the Dadaab refugee camp on the border of Kenya and Somalia. Fourteen Lions will travel to this area and carry out this relief activity hands on."
Lions are helping the most vulnerable, who are children in the area of Northern Kenya and Dadaab, which is the largest refugee camp for the Somalia victims. Lions from Ethiopia are also assisting in the relief efforts. Dadaab, a camp designed for 90,000 people, now houses around 440,000 refugees, and approximately 1,000 more are arriving each day.
Somalia is experiencing the worst drought in 60 years, resulting in dehydration and famine. According to the United Nations, 3.2 million of the 7.5 million people in Somalia are in need of immediate lifesaving assistance. Already more than 29,000 children under the age of five have died.
In District 411A, Lions have put an emergency grant of US$15,000 from LCIF into use to provide famine relief, targeting an area near the Kenya-Somalia border. There, Lions distributed packs of food and supplies for people in dire need. Approximately 30 Lions helped over 3,000 Kenyans through this initiative.
During this activity, 550 family packs were given out. These packs contained a two week ration that would feed a family of five or six people, and consisted of flour, sugar, rice, salt, tea leaves and cooking oil. In addition, 200 women were given feminine packs, which consisted of clothing, slippers, soap, oil and more. Two hundred children were also given children packs, which contained slippers, juice, biscuits, a pencil, workbook and more.
“On behalf of the Lions of the world, we take this opportunity to thank LCIF for coming forward and the Lions of District 411A, especially Kenya, who were able to carry out this wonderful activity and joined the many humanitarian organizations of the world to assist the victims during their time of need,” said District Governor Murtaza Dungarwalla.
More Lions around the world are helping, and some examples of Lions’ generous giving to LCIF in support of this effort include:
Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with 1.35 million members in 206 geographic areas and countries. Over the last 10 years, LCIF has provided US$50 million for disaster relief worldwide. LCIF has been named the #1 NGO to partner with according to a Financial Times study. Learn more about LCIF online at www.lcif.org.