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TEAR Fund urges Kiwis to give now


TEAR Fund is urging New Zealanders to give now to prevent a famine in the Pacific and East Africa.

With possibly the worst El Nino on record already causing drought, around 4.2 million people in the Pacific and 8.2 million in East Africa face food insecurity and famine unless there is urgent intervention.

TEAR Fund CEO, Ian McInnes, says pre-emptive action is key.

“While it is difficult to give a cost-benefit ratio on early famine intervention, studies have shown that good prevention saves lives and money. If we wait for famine to be declared, both the human cost and monetary cost skyrocket”.

The UN estimates that 300,000 children in East Africa are already suffering severe malnutrition and children in parts of Vanuatu, still recovering from Cyclone Pam and in the grips of a drought, are resorting to eating stick insects in an attempt to escape hunger while their parents go without food so they can have enough.

It is forecast that as the weather pattern continues it will increase the intensity and frequency of cyclones in the coming months.

TEAR Fund and its partners in the Pacific are responding early by planting centralised irrigated gardens and ensuring there is disaster preparedness for cyclones. In Africa it is providing micronutrient powders to infants, water purification tablets and medication for diarrhoea.

“As a parent you don’t think twice about going without if your child is hungry, but if there’s still not enough food the situation starts to become desperate,” says Mr McInnes.

“If we act now to provide food for people in need and help them build resilience against drought, famine and cyclones, we can prevent much suffering and save lives.”

You can donate by visiting Tearfund.org.nz or calling 0800 800 777


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