The Horn and Eastern Africa Regional Office (HEARO) oversees Action Against Hunger’s operations in the region, providing strategic and operational support to our country programmes. HEARO’s approach is based on leveraging new opportunities at regional level, as we strengthen capacity at the local level. The regional office supports six countries to deliver the global vision: Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
HEARO draws legitimacy and credibility from our operations in the field, from technical research as well as from the organisation’s direct work with communities affected by nutrition insecurity and child undernutrition in emergency, recovery and development contexts. Through our advocacy work, we apply valuable technical expertise and field knowledge to inform evidence-based policies to tackle malnutrition.
Hunger is a predictable, preventable, and treatable illness. Ninety percent of children who complete treatment are cured, but only one in four is able to access care. Working across the six countries, we strive to make sure that every child gets the lifesaving treatment they need to recover and grow up strong. The need for our work in the region remains very significant. Approximately 50.5 million children under five years of age are wasted globally, including 13.8 million in Africa; and 4.8 million in East Africa. These children have and will need urgent attention. Despite being a preventable and treatable form of malnutrition, access to treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition is low (less than 20%) due to limited funding coupled with unavailability of therapeutic commodities.
HEARO set to reach 400,000 children in 2019. We mobilized approximately $45 million, and launched the Band Together Campaign to urge governments and donors to prioritize resource allocation to respond to malnutrition. Band Together is a multiyear campaign that aims to ensure that global hunger gets the attention and funding it needs. We are making progress, and the need to save lives remains our priority.
To make a meaningful impact, prevention, through strengthening nutritional resilience of individuals, communities and systems against recurrent disasters, will be put at the core of our strategic approach. We have put in place internal capacity building to enhance our effectiveness, knowledge management and learning in the region. With the regional advocacy strategy in place, we will continue to build new partnerships and alliances that will provide collective voices and contribute towards better policies within the region.