Unilever responds to East Africa crisis

Unilever is working with Disaster and Emergency relief partners to determine the best way to assist in East African relief efforts.

Famine has been declared in southern Somalia and is expected to affect all regions in the coming weeks unless food access is improved and nutritional and health activities scaled up.

Some parts of the Horn of Africa are facing the region's worst drought in 60 years, according to the UN, which has classified large areas of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya as a crisis or an emergency.

Of the 2.8 million people in need of immediate life-saving assistance, 450,000 are famine-affected. Disease is spreading rapidly, every day 250 children die of hunger and the situation is deteriorating.

Unilever has been working with Disaster and Emergency relief partners to determine the best way to assist with the East African relief efforts.

Our local businesses in places like Kenya and South Africa have already been donating cash and products to help with the immediate relief efforts and our global business has pledged €500,000 in a mix of cash and products between: UNICEF, Save the Children, Oxfam, Population Services International (PSI) and WFP.

These organisations are providing life-saving food, clean drinking water, medicine and sanitation facilities to address the needs of the most vulnerable, and vital support to families who have lost their incomes. Unilever is also matching employee donations to these five partners.

In addition to supporting the immediate relief effort, we are also working on longer term programmes to assist in the rehabilitation phase to ensure the affected communities can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

CEO Paul Polman sums up: "The current situation in the Horn of Africa is extremely distressing but we should be proud of how Unilever is responding, especially the efforts of our teams in the region. Unilever's work with the five global partners will provide valuable resource on the ground in helping to improve the nutrition, sanitation and hygiene conditions."

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