An early response could save an estimated $8
million per day
Yesriba, 28, with her son Seid, two, who is
recovering from severe-acute malnutrition, in Sewena, Bale Zone. Weak from poor
nutrition, the child was diagnosed and treated for pneumonia. The level of acute need across virtually all
humanitarian sectors has already exceeded levels seen in the Horn of Africa
drought of 2011 and is projected to be far more severe in 2016. In addition to
drought conditions, we expect flooding to start impacting people in other parts
of the country in the very near future. Photo: Kyle Degraw/Save the Children
Fairfield, Conn. (Dec. 7, 2015) —
a result of the worsening food crisis in Ethiopia caused by a severe drought
related to El Nino, the Government of Ethiopia has announced today that a
staggering 10.1 million people will face critical food shortages in 2016,
including more than *5.75 million children.
estimated 400,000 children are now also at risk of developing severe acute
malnutrition in 2016, which can lead to stunting, and physical and mental
delays in development.
worst drought in Ethiopia for 50 years is happening right now, with the overall
emergency response estimated to cost $1.4bn, so the world leaders meeting at the Paris climate
talks this week must take the opportunity to wake up and act before it’s too
late," warns John Graham, Save the Children's Country Director in
before the devastating drought and subsequent food crisis of 2011 hit the
poorest and most vulnerable communities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, the world clearly
saw the disaster approaching but did not prevent it - tragically, history is
set to repeat itself in 2016 unless the international community acts right now.
"According to recent reports combining UN data on the cost of providing life-saving support with
evidence on the economic impact of drought, an early
response could save an estimated $8 million per day. Money isn’t wasted by
investing early, in fact it helps to ensure investments in resilience and risk
reduction are maintained. We simply cannot sit back and wait until the
situation has reached crisis point this time," he adds.
Ethiopian government has already committed an unprecedented $192 million to
help combat the crisis as part of a huge national effort mobilized to mitigate
the impact of the relentless drought, but more help is urgently needed from
donors and the international community to support the government to stop the
situation from deteriorating further.
Drawing on a joint-agency report from 2012, A Dangerous Delay, Graham reiterates that, in the long term, the answers lie within
developing countries themselves, including supporting local food production and
markets, protecting the poorest and most vulnerable, making food affordable,
and ensuring a strong national response to impending crises.
"We know that if we take the right steps together we can prevent
the suffering of millions, as well as alleviating the overwhelming and enduring
poverty that these kinds of acute emergencies tend to leave in their wake," he
says. "We also need to vastly improve how the humanitarian system
responds when warnings of a crisis are given and communities need help."
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, with
the next small harvest not expected until June 2016. In addition, the
significant gains made in food security, education, and health over the years
are in jeopardy in some parts of the country.
the Children is working in over 70% of the worst-affected districts in
Ethiopia, providing food, water, medicine and crucial support to families who
have lost their incomes.
The agency's immediate focus is increasing food aid and water trucking,
also training community-based health workers to treat malnutrition, intervening
to save livestock and crops where possible, and supporting
families that have lost their livestock and livelihoods with cash-for-work
How You Can Help
Nearly 5 million children
risk going hungry as the result of a worsening food crisis in Ethiopia. Please
give generously to support our efforts to provide nutritious food to hungry
children and so much more. Donate now.
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