Fairfield, Conn. (Oct. 22, 2015) —
Close to five
million children risk going hungry as the result of a worsening food crisis in
Ethiopia brought on by a severe drought across normally green and productive
regions – making this natural disaster the worst in recent history, warns Save
and fifty thousand children are already severely malnourished, which if left
untreated, can cause stunting, physical and mental delays in their development,
drought, which has been caused by a particularly strong El Nino phenomenon, has
directly affected more than 8.2 million Ethiopians across a huge area roughly
the size of Texas, leaving them food insecure and dependent on food assistance
from the government and international aid organizations. In addition, the
enormous gains made in food security, education and health over the years risk
being reversed as a result of this extreme climatic event.
Save the Children's Country Director in Ethiopia says: "The failure of the Belg
rains earlier this year as well as the usually reliable Kiremt
summer rains has had a devastating impact on Ethiopia’s harvest. Entire
families have lost their incomes and food supplies, leaving the lives of
millions, especially children, in the balance."
government has committed an unprecedented $192 million to combat the crisis
as part of a huge national effort mobilized to mitigate the drought, but more
support is urgently needed from donors and the international community to help
the government stop the situation from worsening.
is going to get worse before it gets better. We now face the results of poor
harvests across the country, and the next small harvest is not expected until
June 2016," adds Graham.
government is doing what it can to respond, diverting funds from road building
and other projects – but international donors must also provide more relief now
so that we can meet the needs of people affected by this incredibly serious
drought – especially vulnerable children – before it’s too late."
Save the Children is working in over 70% of
the worst-affected districts, providing food, water, medicine and crucial
support to families who have lost their incomes. The organization is also
training community-based health workers to treat malnutrition, and supporting
families that have lost their livestock and livelihoods with cash-for-work
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.