Delatu is one of 11 million Ethiopians* whose lives are, at this moment, at severe risk from famine. Ethiopia is heading towards one of its most serious famine crises for decades. The situation is potentially even worse than 1984 when one million Ethiopians died, and has been exacerbated by armed conflicts in the region. At this time of year the grain stores in the country should be full. This year's harvest was virtually nil and last year's crop was long ago eaten or sold.
Where the drought hit hardest, no harvest came in. Lack of rain meant no fodder for the animals on which people depend for sustenance and income to survive. Despite some interventions with emergency fodder, livestock prices have collapsed and cattle are dying.
Abdalah Abdi is an old man. His wife died last year from malnutrition. "We have nothing to eat" he said. "In 1984 we survived on international food aid, but now things are far worse than back then."
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the UN World Health Organisation said on 23 December "Widespread food shortages have appalling implications for people's health. To prevent it from worsening, the crisis must be tackled immediately through concerted, inter-sectoral action backed by sufficient funding."
CORD's partner organisations within EU-CORD**, ZOA Refugee Care and Woord Daad (Word and Deed), both from the Netherlands, have been working in Ethiopia for a number of years, assisting refugees and war displaced people. Because of their local knowledge and experience they are well placed to help meet some of the huge need in the country. They are currently working in South Wollo. Operations are managed in co-operation with local organisations.
The project initially needs =A340,000 to get enough food to 10,000 people to help them survive the next three months.
In the long term the project will help address the issues of chronic food insecurity and poverty for up to 100,000 people which will require =A3150,000.
Please give whatever you can.
For more information: http://www.cord.org.uk/home.html
*World Food Programme report, 10th December 2002.
**EU-CORD, Christian Organisations in Relief and Development, was formed in 1998 with the goal of serving the poor more effectively and improving the conditions of disadvantaged people in the developing world. In 1999 a secretariat was set up in Brussels in order to help the members become more active in the institutions of the European Union. By 2001 the network had grown to 12 members from eight EU Member States with a total annual turnover of 127 million euro. top of page