Boris Johnson visits Somalia as Farah helps launch appeal amid starvation fears

Sir Mo Farah has thrown his support behind a charity appeal to help the millions of people who face starvation in East Africa.

"As a father of four, it hurts to see children without food and water, but this is a reality being faced by parents in East Africa right now".

Sir Mo said he was "completely devastated" by the crisis.

"I was born in Somalia and it breaks my heart to hear stories of how families are suffering".

The aid agencies are ready to increase the scale of their humanitarian support, but they need more funding to reach the millions of people in urgent need.

The DEC brings together 13 leading United Kingdom aid charities to collectively raise money with speed at teimes of crisis. In Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia many communities are facing the most devastating drought in more than a decade, with more than 15 million people in these countries without a consistent daily meal.

Drought and conflict are to blame for the crisis, says the DEC, which will broadcast an emergency appeal on the major television networks on Wednesday.

Starvation was declared in South Sudan last month, something which hasn't happened anywhere in the world for six years.

More than 100,000 South Sudanese are experiencing famine, with a further one million on the brink of starvation. More than 800,000 children under five are severely malnourished. "Without urgent treatment, they are at risk of starving to death", DEC Chief Executive, Saleh Saeed, said. 'We have not been able to grow food, as no rain has come.' Now that civil war has displaced the family, they have nothing.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: "Britain has acted without hesitation - United Kingdom aid funded food, water and emergency healthcare is being delivered across East Africa right now, but more support is urgently needed to prevent a catastrophe. We can make a difference if Governments, global donors and humanitarian actors act swiftly to meet the needs of affected communities and keep children, women and their families alive", says Margaret Schuler, the Vice President of World Vision in East Africa Region.

He added: "We need to put it into perspective".

"The worldwide community must. stop the starvation before it becomes a stain on our collective conscience", Patel said in a statement. "The world can not afford to wait".

Members of the public can donate to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000, visiting www.dec.org.uk, or calling 0370 60 60 610.

  • Salvatore Jensen