Skip to content

Nyadeng is living in a temporary shelter in Ehtiopia.

In March more than 20 million people faced starvation in East Africa. But - thanks to your donations - we are getting food to older people.

Age International in East Africa

Age International helps older people to survive emergencies; we seek out the most vulnerable and provide age-friendly emergency aid. We are:

  • Getting food to malnourished older people
  • Giving out cash and vouchers so they can get clean water and medicine
  • Providing drought-resistant seeds so farmers can regrow their crops
  • Running a livestock exchange scheme so older people can sell their weak animals
  • Training humanitarian staff on the needs of older people.

We are currently reaching older people in:

  • Ethiopia
  • South Sudan
  • Kenya

Why are people going hungry in East Africa?

100 year-old woman sits outside her house with her daughter.

Pictured: 100 year-old Jilo sitting outside her house with her daughter Keble

  • The El Niño  weather phenomenon has been affecting rainfall across numerous countries for years. Drought means that crops have failed, animals have died, and wells have dried up across East Africa
  • Because drought has affected such a large area, it is even more difficult for people to get food. Prices are soaring, and poor people have been foced to spend everything they have
  • In South Sudan, drought has been made worse by 3 years of conflict. Violence has forced thousands to flee from their homes and driven farmers from their land.

£40 could buy drought-resistant seeds for 2 older farmers >

Why are older people particularly vulnerable?

Emayu harvests firewood to sell after her crops failed

Pictured: 60-year-old Emayu in Ethiopia

  • Older people can’t travel long distances in search of food and water. Some are being left behind by their families
  • 73% of older people in East Africa rely on farming to live – but livestock has died, leaving people without food and without work
  • Older people have specialist nutritional needs – they can’t chew or digest certain foods.

£120 could buy clean water for a family for 6 months >

Now that her crops have failed, 60-year-old Emayu must cut trees for firewood and walk 3 hours to the local market to sell it.

But she doesn't know how much longer she will be able to do this - 'As I am getting older, my eyesight is poor and my physical strength is failing me.'

Read more from the field >

We gave Bonsa, 75, a food package

Bonsa lost everything because of the East Africa drought. We gave her a food package and some cash so she could buy what she needs.  
Pictured: We are helping Bonsa, 75, to feed herself and her family

Donations from the UK public have been vital for the survival of 75-year-old Bonsa and her familiy. We gave Bonsa a food package of protien-rich beans and cooking oil.

We also gave her some cash, which the grandmother used to get urgent medical treatment.

'I am very thankful for the help,' she told us, 'It is our only means of survival'.

£30 could feed two older people, for a month >

Donate now

Give to East Africa

Please, donate to East Africa and help an older person survive drought and hunger.

Donate now

During emergencies like this, older people are particularly vulnerable; they have specialist nutritional needs and they can't always travel the long distances needed to find food and water.

Tell others

Help spread the word about our work to help older people living in poverty.

Explore our site

East Africa Crisis Appeal

Food in East Africa

See how you're helping us reach the most vulnerable with aid East Africa Crisis...

Elder abuse

Abused women speak out

Older women share their experiences of elder abuse Go to blog...

Africa healthcare

Africa healthcare report

Our study into healthcare access and cash transfers Read summary...

An older man holds up a bowl of fruit.

Pension in Zanzibar

A year on from East Africa's first social pension scheme Its impact...