Ethiopia + 1 more

Christian Children's Fund assists with food aid in famine-stricken Ethiopia and Kenya

Richmond, VA - The signs of famine are everywhere in Ethiopia. As early as last fall, Christian Children's Fund (CCF) staff in Ethiopia and its southern neighbor, Kenya, began reporting unmistakable signs that the Horn of Africa would be facing a famine comparable to the disastrous famine of 1984-85, according to CCF President John F. Schultz. This led to CCF's first appeal for Ethiopia emergency assistance last September, which has been followed up by CCF this month with an appeal for food aid to both Ethiopia and Kenya.
"I'm getting daily communications from our staff in Ethiopia and Kenya about this unfolding tragedy. Our workers at child development centers are reporting increased levels of malnutrition, weight loss and increased cases of diarrhea," said Schultz who worked in Ethiopia and Somalia during earlier famines. "These telltale signs of famine began appearing last fall. In addition to the deteriorating condition of our children, staff reported that parents could be seen selling off their possessions including clothes. Children could be seen eating wild plants which had not been done since the famine of 1984."

CCF, which is one of the oldest and most respected child care charities in the world, will be assisting the Ethiopian government in the distribution of food relief in the districts of Basona Worana in Debrebirhan, Selti, Boset and Shashemene in the Oromia Region, areas where CCF has ongoing projects.

More than one million dollars in food aid is needed to help children in these affected areas. "My latest communication from our national director in Ethiopia has been a plea for more than a million dollars to keep children in these areas from starving to death. Immediate aid is needed so that as the drought lingers and worsens we'll be there to help those who are counting on us."

"In Kenya, it's just as bad," noted Schultz. "Tens of thousands of families have to walk at least five miles to find a water source. Many are barely surviving on little more than roots and wild fruits like baobab."

CCF has ongoing long-term programs in Ethiopia and Kenya which last year totaled $10.1 million, and more than $20.2 million to Africa overall. CCF has actively been working in Ethiopia since 1983 and in Kenya since 1960. CCF's development projects are designed to improve nutrition, decrease child mortality rates, create access to safe water and sanitary waste disposal, introduce childhood development programs, provide mass immunization programs, teach improved agricultural practices and initiate family income-generating projects.

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