Eight leading U.S.-based international relief organizations have announced they are joining forces to convince Americans to donate to the Hunger Relief Fund, a new fund created to respond to looming famine and persistent hunger threatening millions of people in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia, and neighboring countries.
To that end, the Global Emergency Response Coalition (GERC) has launched a two-week appeal in support of the fund that ends July 28, while the PepsiCo Foundation and global asset manager Blackrock have each pledged $1 million in matching funds for donations to the fund. GERC was established by CARE USA, the International Medical Corps, the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International USA, Save the Children, and World Vision to assist the more than twenty million people in the region facing starvation. In Yemen, for example, a child under the age of 5 dies every ten minutes because of a lack of food and basic resources, while in parts of Nigeria there have been reports of people eating sand to ward off starvation. Due to a lack of clean water and sanitation, families in the affected region also are dying from diseases such as cholera and measles.
"We are proud to help combat a hunger emergency the UN has called the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945," said Indra K. Nooyi, chair and CEO of PepsiCo. "Companies and foundations like ours must lend a hand when communities are in need. And I urge others to join us and do what they can to bring humanitarian assistance to the millions of men, women, and children who desperately need it."