East Africa is in the grip of a crisis.
Drought and food shortages are devastating the region. CARE staff in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are seeing millions of children on the brink of starvation, and soaring rates of malnutrition and disease.
The situation is desperate. Since 2020, 36 million people in East Africa have been affected by drought. That’s a shocking number and behind it are real families who urgently need help, because life is getting harder by the day.
But when times are tough, women are even tougher.
And at CARE, we’ve seen how with the right support, women in crisis can become successful entrepreneurs and community leaders. How they can lift themselves and their communities out of poverty. Women are strong and determined – and with your support, they will lead their families out of crisis.
Women like Asha, who lives in a small village in rural Somalia. For many years, she relied on the tomatoes she grew to feed her family and earn an income. But drought has turned her field into a dust bowl. She has nothing to harvest, nothing to sell.
Asha’s water tank has run dry, and Asha and her children regularly go without meals. Asha told us: “I cannot cook for my children without water.” This lack of food has had an awful impact on the family’s health. Asha’s little girl, Hamda, has been in and out of hospital with sickness and malnutrition.
But there is hope.
CARE is providing families with emergency food, water, cash and other essentials they need to survive right now. And we don’t just want women to survive, we want them to lift themselves out of poverty for good. Our community cash-for-work projects provide a lifeline for women like Asha, enabling them to earn their own income and develop new skills as they fight the impacts of climate change.
Our cash-for work projects are the difference between life and death for Asha and her family. She’s taken part in three of them so far, earning $90 a month each time. Right now, the projects are Asha’s only source of income and she uses the money to buy vital medicine and food for her children.
Life is still very hard for Asha.
There’s no end to the drought or food shortages in sight. But Asha is doing everything she can to lead her family out of this crisis. And she’s not alone. With the right support, more women like Asha will come through this crisis, stronger and more determined than ever before.