Hunger Crisis


A malnourished child is assessed by a health care worker in South Sudan. Photo: Josh Estey


Famine has now been declared in South Sudan.

If the world doesn’t act, there are fears famine could soon be announced in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.

More than 20 million people are currently at risk – that is nearly more than the population of all major cities in Canada combined. This includes nearly 1.4 million children facing death from severe malnutrition.

Your help is urgently needed to save lives.


A famine is the worst case scenario of a food crisis and is declared when alarming measures of mortality, malnutrition and hunger are met - it essentially means people are starving to death right now.

This growing humanitarian catastrophe is the result of ongoing conflict, drought and climate change. In many of the countries at risk harvests have failed, water points have dried up and violence has prevented the delivery of much-needed assistance.

We need your help. Right now, CARE’s teams are on the ground providing life-saving support in some of the worst affected areas:

  • We are providing food aid and cash vouchers to parents so they can feed their children
  • We are distributing seeds so families can replant devastated crops
  • We are making sure families have clean drinking water
  • We have already provided emergency help to 324,000 people in South Sudan
  • Our teams have already reached almost 260,000 people in Somalia
  • We have reached more than 1.3 million people in need in Yemen

But so much more urgent help is needed.


South Sudan

  • In February 2017, famine was declared in parts of Unity State following more than three years of violent conflict.
  • Families are barely surviving on leaves and roots to eat and children are suffering from excruciating hunger - 5 million urgently need food assistance
  • We’re delivering life-saving food, water and medical care to families in desperate need and have reached 350,000 people to date.


  • 2.9 million people in need of urgent, life-saving assistance.
  • 185,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
  • CARE Somalia has reached almost 259,000 people in Somaliland, Puntland and south central Somalia with clean water, cash, relief supplies, nutrition support and protection of women and girls.
  • CARE plans to reach another 350,000 Somalis in the next six months with crucial humanitarian aid, but needs additional funding to meet the ever increasing needs. 
  • In the next six months, CARE plans to reach 1.2 million people with life-saving aid, including food, water, seeds for farming and cash assistance.


  • 17 million people are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance.
  • 462,000 children suffering severe acute malnutrition.
  • CARE has reached 1.3 million people with food distribution and cash assistance so families can purchase food that meet their needs. We have also provided vital access to clean water and hygiene.

Northeast Nigeria

  • 5.1 million people in need of urgent, life-saving assistance.
  • 450,000 children suffering severe acute malnutrition.
  • 400,000 living in famine-like conditions.
  • CARE has on-going responses in the affected areas of Niger, Chad and Cameroon serving refugees impacted by the violence in Northeast Nigeria and is setting up operations in northern Nigeria.



CARE is on the ground in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and countries in the Lake Chad Basin, including Nigeria, providing life-saving necessities:

  • food aid and cash vouchers
  • seeds to replant devastated crops
  • clean drinking water

CARE will take a special focus on women and girls as we know they are particularly at risk of malnutrition and gender-based violence. 

Our teams have been working with communities to reduce the severity of this hunger crisis, but we need your help to meet the escalating need before it’s too late. 

CARE is extremely concerned that conditions will worsen in all of these countries resulting in more unnecessary deaths. We call on all parties to the conflicts to allow unfettered access of humanitarian aid to those in need, and calls on donors to provide the necessary funding needed to save more lives.

Your donation will help CARE rush emergency support to those countries facing famine.

$70 Food for malnourished children – can provide one month supplementary feeding for four children suffering from malnutrition 

$120 Family emergency kit – can provide three blankets, a sleeping mat, plastic sheeting, a kitchen set, jerry cans for water, antibacterial soap and clothes for a family of seven

$530 Water treatment – can provide urgent water treatment and hygiene supplies to 20 families



Fleeing famine in South Sudan

Mar 24, 2017 | What do you do when faced with the threat of starvation: stay put hoping the situation will improve? Or walk in search of safety and a stable food source? This is the terrible dilemma hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese like 34-year-old Nyarmon are currently facing. Read more

Somalia: With drought everywhere, there is nowhere to go

Mar 20, 2017 | Nura Abdi Nuur, a mother of seven, lives in an impromptu camp with other drought-stricken families. Before CARE arrived to provide assistance, the family - like so many in the area - was facing starvation. Read more.

We cannot allow millions to starve in South Sudan and around the world, says CARE
Mar 3, 2017 | After three years of brutal conflict, famine was declared in South Sudan’s Unity State, meaning thousands are dying of starvation. Read more