Actor Hugh Jackman is asking people to give generously to help those hit by severe drought in the Horn Of Africa.
Jackman, 42, who is a World Vision ambassador along with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, makes the plea as aid agencies step up their efforts to help the 13 million people facing starvation.
“World Vision urgently needs your help to assist those in need,” Jackman says in a video recording.
“Children are the most vulnerable in times of crisis like this and in the worst-hit areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia nearly half a million young people are at risk of malnutrition,” adds Furness. “Hugh and I have been in Ethiopia, and we’ve seen firsthand the World Vision staff who work on the ground. They’re at the crisis points now providing lifesaving food and water.”
“World Vision is also supporting long-term programs such as drought-tolerant crops, help for herders’ animals, and families to diversify their income source so that drought doesn’t leave them without an income,” Jackman, who has been a World Vision sponsor since he was eight, says.
The aid organisation hopes to help more than 2.5 million people in the three most-affected countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello, who recently visited Kenya, says the low rainfall has impacted crops and livestock, and forced people to flee their homes in search of food and water. “The Australian public have already been extremely generous in their support of this crisis. With their help we have already been able to save hundreds of lives,” says Costello. “However, World Vision is concerned the situation in East Africa will get worse before it gets better. We are increasingly worried about the conditions in Uganda and Tanzania where food insecurity is on the rise.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Australia: Call 13 32 40 or visit worldvision.com.au
New Zealand: Call 0800 800 776 or visit worldvision.org.nz