Africa relief update: Ethiopia

Currently 15 million people in Ethiopia are at risk of serious malnutrition and starvation. World Concern has been providing life, opportunity and hope in Ethiopia since 1984. In addition to our ongoing development projects, World Concern relief campaigns begin this month in the areas of Jigjigga, Borana, Alduba and Gambella. We are also assessing the need to add emergency food distributions in Addis Ababa and Dessie.
The north end of the Somali region is one of the areas most severely affected by the drought. After assessing needs in the region, World Concern directors decided that the Fa Fan camps, where families had been living in desperation since the drought of 1999/2000, are in the most need of immediate aid. Families in Fa Fan have lost all of their animals and are suffering greatly from acute malnutrition. Malaria is also a major endemic in Fa Fan due to a marshy area nearby. World Concern will provide food and will help to coordinate a comprehensive, environmentally safe spraying program to rid the area of mosquitoes.

The needs are slightly different in Borana, a semi arid region in the southern part of the country that is especially prone to drought. Here, World Concern has chosen to address two long-term solutions to hunger: improving access to potable water for people and livestock and providing small-scale irrigation. World Concern believes that these two interventions will bring a lasting and culturally appropriate solution to the problems of historical droughts and famine.

World Concern has been supporting development in the South Omo District in the far southwest of Ethiopia since 1987. Alduba town in this district has been approved to receive food aid from the Ethiopian government, but the area is very remote and there are no adequate places to store relief food, so little aid has been given. World Concern now has plans to work with a local partner to build two watertight, secure warehouses. Once completed, World Concern plans to help expand food distributions in this region.

In Gambella, Addis Ababa and Dessie, World Concern has worked for many years with Hope Enterprises to feed, educate and provide basic medical care to children. Due to the current drought, World Concern and Hope Enterprises will step up their efforts to regularly provide nutritious food to children in need.

For more information on World Concern's response to the looming famine in Africa or to make a donation, please call (800) 755-5022.Donations can also be mailed to World Concern, Africa Famine Relief, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.