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What is the East Africa Crisis appeal; how can you help?

Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa. The Disasters Emergency Committee says 'if we don’t act now, it will get much worse'.

Drought and conflict have left 16 million people on the brink of starvation and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. People are already dying in South Sudan and Somalia.

In Kenya, the government has declared a national emergency and Ethiopia is battling a new wave of drought following the strongest El Nino on record.

Women, children and older people are suffering the most; more than 800,000 children under five are severely malnourished. Without immediate treatment, they are at risk of starving to death.

DEC member charities are already delivering life-saving assistance in all affected countries. But, they need more money to help reduce the scale and severity of the crisis.

You can donate through the DEC websiteand the UK Government will match pound for pound the first £5 million donated by the public.

https://donation.dec.org.uk/eastafrica#/

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Ravaged by thirst and hunger; East Africans need help

Described as the worst humanitarian crisis since WW11, charities in the South are desperate to help people in East Africa tackle famine.

Around 20 million people do not known when their next meal will be. Most are in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment.

We speak to:

Nasra Dirir, Amal Kulane and Hibo-Misky Mohamoud, students at SOAS, University of London; Roy Irons, St Peters Methodist Church, Canterbury; Laura Cook, 'All We Can' charity; Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for Worthing East and Shoreham. Also to Dr Idil Osman, Research Associate at the Dept of Development Studies, SOAS.

To find out more or donate to the cause, head to https://www.dec.org.uk/splash/africa

Working towards preventing famine in the future

The UK's Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) says at least 16 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan need food, water and medical treatment.

It blames drought and conflict for the crisis - so what can be done?

Patrick Thomson, Lead Researcher for the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment's Water Programme at Oxford University has a plan to help.

The innovation is a UK aid funded water pump.

Communities in the South are fighting famine

Communities in the South have joined aid agencies in trying to raise urgent funds to help millions of people facing famine in East Africa.

Charities, such as Oxfam, are working with the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee to try and help those who need it.

Bashir Muhammed is a member of Southampton Somalia community, he has seen first-hand the effects of famine.

One of the worst hit countries is Somalia where it has not rained for three years and where millions are now at risk of starvation.

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21 crew 'safe & well' after ship fire in English Channel

The fire is believed to have started in the cargo area

A Fire and Rescue Marine Response team was airlifted on board a ship which caught fire in the English Channel after leaving Southampton headed for the USA at about 3.45am on Friday.

The fire took hold in the cargo area of the US car carrier ‘Honor’ while it was en route to Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, USA.

The emergency team was transported to the vessel by the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lee on Solent in Hampshire.

Their mission was to investigate the fire damage and determine whether or not it was safe for the vessel to return to the Port of Southampton.

The ship returned to land last night. Its 21 crew have been reported to be safe and well. The vessel will remain in Southampton over the weekend. Further updates will be released on Monday.

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