ShelterBox responding to East African crisis

ShelterBox has responded quickly to the current crisis in the Horn of Africa.

ShelterBox has responded quickly to the current crisis in the Horn of Africa.

The combination of a never-ending drought and the brutal civil war in Somalia has resulted in several hundred thousand Somalians fleeing to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

ShelterBox has volunteer teams on the ground in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia to determine the need and to distribute the lifesaving shelter tents.

The need for temporary shelter is huge and growing. Tragically, tens of thousands of additional refugees are still waiting to be registered and relocated from transition shelters outside of the camps, which mostly consist of sticks covered by clothes, blankets, tarpaulins and any other materials the families can lay their hands on.

In Kenya, ShelterBox is working in partnership with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and IOM (International Organization for Migration) to provide shelter for up to 20,000 Somali refugees at the camp in Dadaab.

In Ethiopia, a ShelterBox team, including Canadian David Hallet of Kingston, Ont., is working closely with Save the Children, UNHCR, the Refugee Cental Committee, and the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, to make sure that ShelterBox aid reaches the most vulnerable people in the camp.

Child protection volunteers from Save the Children are helping ShelterBox to identify families who desperately need the vital items provided in a ShelterBox, including shelter, blankets, water purification equipment, tools and cooking equipment.

“To date, some 3,600 ShelterBoxes have arrived in the region, drawn from ShelterBox’s disaster ready stockpile,” said Richard Clarke of Comox, ShelterBox Canada’s Ambassador for the North Island. “But the need is clearly much larger and growing every day, and we will need to provide thousands more. We rely on the generosity of donors to make this happen and could certainly use some help now.”

When disaster strikes — be it of natural or man-made causes — ShelterBox is there to provide temporary shelters and other lifesaving items for those left homeless by the disaster.

Each ShelterBox contains a 10-person tent, blankets, water purification and cooking equipment, basic tools, a stove and other essential equipment. The exact

contents and the tent design will depend on the circumstance of the disaster. The sturdy box they are packed into can be used to store food, water or personal belongings.

While East Africa is caught in an absolute disaster, and donations so indicated will only be used in East Africa, ShelterBox Response Teams are currently in four additional areas providing shelter for the victims of flooding in the Philippines, civil unrest in Libya, floods and mudslides in South Korea and tropical storm Emily in Haiti.

ShelterBox Canada is a registered charity. From now until Sept. 16, any and all donations received by ShelterBox Canada designated by the donor for the East Africa relief effort will trigger, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, an additional contribution by the Government of Canada to its East Africa Drought Relief Fund.

Donations can be made online at www.shelterboxcanada.org or by calling toll-free to 1-855-875-4661.

— ShelterBox Canada

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