Emergency Response Kenya Somalia

Can one child shine hope in the global hunger crisis?

Written by World Vision Staff on Sep 21, 2023 8:00:00 AM

Today, 35 million people in 39 countries are facing emergency levels of hunger. It’s so staggering that the question must be asked: Is there any hope amid the global hunger crisis?

The answer is YES! Hamdi shows us that God’s hand is still at work in the world’s toughest places. And you can be a part of more stories like hers when you give today.

Hamdi was 7 months old and weighed only 8 pounds when she arrived at World Vision’s nutrition clinic in Baidoa, Somalia. The average weight for a girl her age? About 16 pounds. Health workers diagnosed her with severe acute malnutrition, which was made worse by diarrhea and measles.

Somalia’s longest drought in 40 years is not only impacting access to food, but the lack of water and safe sanitation and hygiene facilities is also increasing the risk of waterborne diseases and other illnesses. This is especially true for the 3.8 million internally displaced people here, like Hamdi and her mom.

Staff at the World Vision clinic put Hamdi on a treatment plan that included ready-to-use therapeutic food. At her follow-up visit one month later, Hamdi weighed 11 pounds, and her cough from the measles was gone. 

Hamdi, before and after treatment.   

Two images of a baby girl, taken when she was 7 months old and 8 months old, showing her weight gain.


Two images of a baby girl, taken when she was 7 months old and 8 months old, showing her weight gain.


“I feel optimistic and hopeful that my baby is doing well and her health is back on track,” says her mom. “A month ago, I felt helpless, but now I see Hamdi will be well.”

“We love because he first loved us.” —1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Children like Hamdi give us strength as we respond in 28 of the countries hardest hit by the global hunger crisis, aiming to reach 30 million people with life-saving food and care. Why do we do it? Because our Christian faith calls us to love our neighbor and respond to those in greatest need — particularly vulnerable children.

We love because Jesus loves. And because He commands us to love one another (John 13:34). And we still hear His voice calling all of us to do the same today. He wants all of us to be active participants in the work He’s doing!

And the work … is working. Over the last 10 years, 89% of the severely malnourished children we treated made a full recovery.

And just how many Hamdis are there during the global hunger crisis? 11 million. That’s because more than 21 million people — 11 million of them children — in 28 countries have received life-saving assistance through our programs.

There are so many other children who still need life-saving care, especially in these hunger hotspots:

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo -  46.1 million people are experiencing insufficient food consumption — with over 42% of children under the age of 5 struggling with chronic malnutrition.
  • Afghanistan - More than 88% of the population are experiencing insufficient food consumption.
  • South Sudan - Over half of the population is now faces acute food insecurity, with over 2.2 million people at emergency levels of hunger and 31.3% of children under 5 experiencing chronic malnutrition.

In Kenya, families like Ekidor’s are still in urgent need

When her 1-year-old son Ebei tried to nurse, Ekidor was at a loss. She could only produce milk when she ate — and there was little food due to the extreme drought in Kenya.

While Ekidor and her husband sold reed baskets and charcoal to try to make a living, it wasn’t enough to feed their six children. With no rain, their livestock had died.

Struggling to survive, they were fortunate to eat one meal a day. Often, they wouldn’t have enough even for that. “If we get food, we give it to the kids,” says Ekidor.

Thankfully, through the grace of God, World Vision’s food distribution program provided Ekidor with desperately needed supplies. But her crisis is far from over.


In Kenya, Ekidor holds her child, Ebei. Her family receives one month’s supply of food at a time, and they share it with their neighbors. “We’ve been taught this at church,” she says.

“I am so worried about the drought,” Ekidor said. “I see my children crying. I feel bad. I am praying to God to provide funding for World Vision. I am praying to God that I can support my children so they can go to school.”

Together, we can help more families like hers across Kenya — and many more countries.


Your gift multiplies 4 times in impact

We’re so grateful for your partnership in this work. Please respond with the love of Jesus to help save the lives of more children like Hamdi. Also join with us in prayer — that families like Ekidor’s can experience God’s power and grace to survive through these hard times.

Every $1 you give to the Global Emergency Response Fund, combined in part with public grants, delivers $4 in impact, bringing resources like critically needed food, clean water, child protection programs, nutritional support, and more to families facing hunger and starvation.

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