"People are hungry," said Jim Cornelius, Executive Director of Canadian Foodgrains Bank. "This is the worst drought to strike Ethiopia in the last decade and the consequences could be disastrous unless governments and other aid agencies quickly respond in a major way."
The boatload of Canadian wheat for Ethiopia left Montreal in late January and is expected to arrive for discharge and bagging in Djibouti by the end of February. From there the wheat will be trucked inland to approximately eight distribution points in places like Mekele, Tigray, Dira Dawa and Awasa. Distribution will be managed by local agencies who are partnered with Foodgrains Bank member churches.
"This 9,700 tonnes of wheat is enough to help feed over three-quarters of a million people for a month," said Cornelius. "The food will be used in a variety of ways ranging from emergency relief to food for work, depending on what the situation and needs are in each village."
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates more than 11 million people are facing severe food shortages. "This food assistance is timely and will help save lives in Ethiopia," said Sam Vander Ende, East Africa representative with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, based in Addis Ababa. "We have a role to play in responding to people in need and through the long-term relationships our church members have with people in Ethiopia, we are well-positioned to help. I am glad to see Canadian Foodgrains Bank and its many supporters taking the initiative to support to Ethiopia in this time of crisis. "
In addition to the 9,700 tonnes being provided by Canadian Foodgrains Bank, most of which is supported with 4:1 matching Canadian International Development Agency dollars, the vessel will carry 4,600 tonnes of wheat provided by the Canadian International Development Agency and other non-governmental agencies working in Ethiopia. When fully loaded, the ship will carry will carry 14,500 tonnes of Canadian wheat to those in need.
Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a Christian-based charitable organization that facilitates the collection and distribution of grain and other agricultural commodities to the world's hungry in support of food programming activities carried out by its 13 member agencies, including Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D). Since 1983, Canadian Foodgrains Bank members have provided over 800,000 tonnes of food assistance into Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America.
Presbyterian World Service & Development is working with Action by Churches Together (ACT) and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to help provide food to get Ethiopians through this severe food crisis. You can help PWS&D respond to the food crisis situation in Ethiopia. Make a donation through your church offering, clearly marking your gift "PWS&D-Ethiopia". Or send a donation directly to PWS&D. Income tax receipts will be issued.