Press Release: World Day to combat desertification and drought

In Africa there is a hunger crisis:

The worst humanitarian crisis in the last 70 years


Con il sostegno della Fondazione Herrod combattiamo la situazione di emergenza in Somalia 1


It’s the anniversary of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought,  17th of June, and 30 million people in Central and Eastern Africa are still facing the worst famine since World War II.

The Herrod Foundation and COOPI Suisse give their contribution to #wechangehistory.


Too little attention is being dedicated to the famine problem that still afflicts many parts of the world. A growing number of men, women and children living in Africa, around Lake Chad and South Sudan do not have sufficient food and water to survive.

In addition to threatening the survival of a fifth of the world’s population – which are more than a billion people – drought and desertification have led to a reduction in the Earth’s surface layer and its productive capacity has reduced by a third, making four billion hectares of terrain unusable. This phenomenon is particularly dramatic in Africa, where desertification is among the main causes of the rampant phenomenon of famine.

El Niño, a periodic climate issue that causes strong water heating in the Pacific Ocean, is considered nowadays as the ultimate cause of the hunger emergency. Having re-emerged in 2015, El Niño is able to affect the climate of the entire planet, causing flooding in some areas and severe droughts in others.

Because of this, the poor countries in Central and Eastern Africa, which have been already severely bruised by food insecurity and water shortages, have lost 80%  of their livestock due to the strong drought. Also, most of the harvests have been destroyed and therefore the migrant phenomena became more accentuated.

But to die because of famine and starvation, in this century, is shameful for the whole of humanity.

COOPI Suisse based in Lugano, a part of the international network of COOPI, has decided to respond to the humanitarian emergency by helping 14.520 people fight starvation in Somalia. The project has been made possible thanks to the partnership developed with the Herrod Foundation from Geneva. 

The intervention foresees the distribution of 1,500 vouchers for the access of water, the distribution of tanks for the preservation of water, thereby avoiding the risk of contamination; But also the provision of tablets for making water drinkable and awareness-raising activities on hygiene practices to prevent contaminated waterborne diseases such as cholera have been set up.

Regarding the battle against malnutrition, families are given vouchers to purchase a “basic basket” that includes food and other products for the family – sorghum, vegetable oil, sugar, water, kerosene, firewood and soap. Additionally, awareness-raising courses have been set up for mothers and young women in order to spread good nutritional and hygienic practices so that childhood malnutrition and other diseases already aggravated by famine can be prevented.

The project’s goal is to reach 2,420 families risking survival, making a total of 14,520 people affected by the crisis; of these, 8,000 are children of whom 4,000 are under the age five years.

This intervention is part of the #wechangehistory campaign that COOPI Suisse launched in Canton Ticino on June 6, 2017, which will last until July 31st. The association will be present with informative stands in various locations within the Swiss territory, aiming to inform and raise funds to protect younger victims of violence in conflict zones and to combat malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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