For many years, Bronwyn (Sister of the Bride!) has been working for Save the Children, an amazing organization that we hear first hand how incredibly impactful they are in helping children all over the world. We have picked one emergency, the Ethiopian Food Crisis, that is currently not receiving the media attention it deserves. We would wish that your support will go beyond this occasion and that all our closest friends and relatives would sustain Save the Children in the years to come. Thank you!
Save the Children for the Ethiopian Food Crisis:
Ethiopia is currently in the throes of its worst drought in 50 years, threatening over 30 million people across the affected area. The strongest ever recorded El Niño – extreme weather exacerbated by climate change – has been the catalyst for a series of failed rains which has led to the worst disaster in Ethiopia’s recent history. Families are facing extreme hunger as a result of ruined harvests and decimated livestock; 5.75 million children are now in urgent need of emergency food assistance.
Until this situation changes, flexible appeal funds are a lifeline to affected families.
In this response, for every £1 donated to the appeal, we can leverage £50 in additional institutional income.
Basic education has also been affected by the drought, with up to a third of school age children reported to not be attending school in the worst-hit areas. With large numbers of people moving closer to urban areas in search of food and water, providing schooling for displaced children is imperative.
Save the Children currently classifies just two global humanitarian crises as “Category One”, the organisation’s highest level of emergency: the on-going war in Syria, and the drought in Ethiopia. Although we are not seeing images of starving children in the media, this drought is still having very serious repercussions on children and families in Ethiopia.
With livestock perishing, harvests failing, and serious shortfalls in the food assistance pipeline, millions of people across Ethiopia are facing very real long-term food insecurity. Time is running out to provide the emergency food, cash, and vouchers that will be needed to meet the ever-increasing needs and keep people healthy. Farmers also desperately need emergency seed distribution, livestock feed and animal health services. There is a small window available to keep livelihoods afloat, and by responding at scale now we can save more lives during the drought whilst safeguarding futures in the longer-term.
Despite the early warning signs, the international community reacted slowly to the Horn of Africa drought in 2011 and didn’t take these vital steps in time. During that crisis more than 250,000 people died from hunger in Somalia. Today, we must heed the lessons of the past and not wait until the peak of the crisis to act at scale.
To date, we’ve reached 2.1 million people, including over 1.1 million children, with life-saving support.
Nutrition and Health - we are:
Distributing food to those who need it most, ensuring that families get nutritious meals
Identifying, treating, and following up cases of malnutrition, focusing on children under five, pregnant women, and other vulnerable group
Training community workers to go door to door to explain the underlying and basic causes of malnutrition, along with methods to prevent it from developing
Supporting the existing health system by deploying frontline health workers to remote communities to provide life-saving care, along with
prepositioning medical supplies and drugs for common complications of malnutrition
Supporting the safe and timely referral and transport of patients in a serious condition from their community to higher level facilities in the
affected areas, by funding ambulances.
Water and hygiene - we are:
Providing urgent and immediate water supply to remote communities, settlements for displaced people, schools and health facilities with critical shortages of water through trucking, use of donkeys, or vouchers where the market is sufficient
Rapidly responding to existing and potential outbreaks of water borne diseases with clean water containers and immediate water supply, treatment chemicals, and sanitation control measures
Repairing and rehabilitating water supply sources, such as hand dug and shallow wells, especially focusing on villages where we are targeting schools and health centres with improved water facilities.
Livelihoods- we are:
Getting the affected communities involved in the response while creating opportunities to earn income, through work projects such as
rehabilitating wells and water conservation
Distributing food vouchers for households with children who suffer from, or are at risk of developing, malnutrition, giving families the flexibility to choose their own food whilst supporting local economies
Distributing essential seeds, livestock feed, and tools to farmers so they can start to rebuild their livelihoods
Training Community Animal Health Workers to care for livestock and prevent unnecessary deaths.
Child Protection and Education - we are:
Ensuring that children affected by the drought have the knowledge and skills to survive by conducting child resiliency sessions that empower them to develop positive coping strategies
Increasing awareness of child protection concerns and strengthening community mechanisms for parents and community members to help identify, reduce and prevent abuse and exploitation of drought affected children especially young girls
Constructing child friendly spaces for displaced children and families to allow children to play, socialise, learn and access psychosocial support in a safe space.
In addition to our immediate life-saving work, we are investing in
building the resilience of communities in drought-prone areas, through programmes that mitigate the effects of drought and enable families to cope better and recover faster. In Ethiopia, we are directly supporting the ‘Productive Safety Net Programme’ which in total reaches over 12 million chronically food-insecure people through asset protection mechanisms that build their ability to cope with extreme shocks, such as this drought. We have also been involved in food security information early warning systems since the early 1970s, to ensure we are aware of upcoming food security crises across the country.
£ 50,000 could provide a month’s supply of nutrient-rich peanut paste for more than 2,700 severely malnourished children.
£100,000 could provide two months’ supply of corn soya blend and oil for 4,600 children or breastfeeding women as part of a supplementary feeding programme, preventing an escalation
in malnutrition in a drought-affected community.
£176,867 can pay for the construction of a new borehole providing desperate communities with much needed water.
So far we’ve reached over 2 million people in Ethiopia, and our teams will be supporting families through this terrible food crisis until it’s over. Together, we can stop this crisis turning into a catastrophe.