Press release -

The Church of Sweden working in East Africa for the long term

The resources in the camps in Dadaab, Kenya, are no longer enough, but the refugees fleeing hunger in Somalia continue to pour in. Photo: Sofia Malmqvist/IKON.

Ten million people in the Horn of Africa are in urgent need of assistance, and the worst drought for more than 60 years is forcing ever increasing numbers of people to flee. The Church of Sweden has staff stationed in the area and is working with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) on emergency and long-term action.

The Church of Sweden has sent SEK 2.2 million to three severely affected areas in Ethiopia: Abaya, Chinaksen and Dawe Kachen. SEK 2 million consists of development cooperation assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and a further SEK 200,000 comprises funds collected. The money will be used for distribution of food, for nutritional supplements for children and to prevent outbreaks of malaria in the next three months.

Via the ACT Alliance (see below) the Church of Sweden has received additional requests for assistance for tangible disaster relief. The people affected will need support for a very long time to come, and, following the emergency phase, the Church of Sweden will continue its long-term work to counter hunger.

The focus of the surrounding world and media is currently on the three refugee camps in Dadaab in Kenya, close to the Somali border. The camps are built for 90,000 refugees, but now contain more than 350,000, and have to cope with a further 1,500 new arrivals each day. The situation is acute, and there is a shortage of food, water, latrines and medical care.

“People are malnourished and absolutely exhausted after fleeing – often on foot – for weeks,” says Lennart Hernander, local representative of the LWF in Kenya-Djibouti and stationed abroad by the Church of Sweden. “Each month, many children die in the camps. The situation is extremely difficult, but our schooling and special peace and safety teams for security in the camps are continuing, as well as our many other activities.”

Outside the camps in Kenya, tens of thousands of people have also been hit hard by the drought. The situation is very serious throughout the crisis area, which covers four countries, and there are also more than 100,000 Somali refugees in Ethiopia which has been severely affected. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has asked the LWF in Ethiopia to help by providing water and temporary housing in two camps on the border between Somalia and Ethiopia, where many people are fleeing to from the drought.

Through the LWF – which administrates parts of the camps – the Church of Sweden is helping to build additional camps, where the hungry refugees can receive the help they need. You can support the disaster relief work in several ways:
•  Payments to Plusgiro 90 01 22-3, or Bankgiro 900-1223. From abroad: IBAN: SE32 9500 0099 6042 0900 1223
•  Donate directly via the website.

‘Hela Världen’, the Church of Sweden’s international mission and diaconia, is part of the ACT Alliance, a global joint effort involving churches and organisations for disaster relief, development and raising awareness. The ACT Alliance consists of around 100 organisations with 30,000 employees and volunteers in 130 countries around the world.


  • Religion, Faith


  • church of sweden
  • kenya
  • somalia
  • drought
  • famine
  • act alliance
  • disaster
  • relief work
  • refugee
  • refugee camp
  • unhcr
  • ethiopia


Ewa Almqvist

Press contact Press secretary +46-18-16 96 77

Stefan Håkansson

Press contact Press secretary +46-18-16 94 20