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ChildFund International and Christian Children’s Fund of Canada launch joint drought response in Ethiopia

TORONTO [March 8, 2017] — Last year, thanks to a strong El Niño weather pattern, Ethiopia endured its worst drought in 30 years. And now, while the country is still reeling from that slow-moving disaster, a new drought has taken hold, this one thanks to another, more obscure climate phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole. The failure of two rainy seasons has put the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the country’s southern and eastern lowland areas at risk.

ChildFund International and Christian Children’s Fund of Canada are combining their efforts to address the impact of the current drought on the lives and livelihoods of drought-affected people.

Nationwide, according to the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) presented in December by the Government of Ethiopia and its partners, 5.6-million people will need humanitarian support, totalling US$948 million. Only $233 million is currently available, leaving a shortfall of $715 million. Specifically:

  • 5.6-million people need emergency food assistance.
  • 3-million children and pregnant and lactating mothers require supplementary feeding.
  • 4.4-million people need health assistance.
  • 9.2-million people need clean drinking water, and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support.
  • 1.9-million households need livestock support; half a million require seeds.

More than 150 schools have closed, and 76 percent of schools are without water.

Without urgent intervention, pastoral households will lose their herds. Child-protection risks are rising, due to the migration of unaccompanied children, child marriage, psychosocial distress, sexual violence and more.

ChildFund and Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) have been responding to drought impacts since 2016. Interventions have included:

  • WASH — creating access to safe water, sanitation facilities and hygienic practices for 102,429 people.
  • Nutrition for 43,634 children under age five as well as pregnant and lactating women.
  • Education enabling 7,802 students to stay in school.
  • Agriculture/emergency seed provision for 876 farmers, enabling them to plant and produce crops.
  • Child protection in emergencies (CPiE), reaching 31,017 children.
  • Emergency relief food distribution for 23,812 community members.

In coordinating their efforts going forward, the two sister organizations commit to addressing the humanitarian needs of the affected communities in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia and other partners. Both organizations recognize the need to ensure that all affected people are able to access and benefit from assistance and protection according to their level of vulnerability.

In line with the 2017 HRD’s three strategic Objectives (SO) — (1) Save lives and reduce morbidity due to drought and acute food insecurity; (2) Protect and restore livelihoods; and (3) Prepare for and respond to other humanitarian shocks (natural disasters, conflict and displacement) — ChildFund and CCFC have selected thematic as well as geographical areas for their joint response. Based on the needs, the two agencies will jointly focus on emergency WASH, nutrition, emergency food assistance, education, agriculture and child protection in 14 woredas (districts) across four states: Oromia, Amhara, SNNP and Afar, reaching 115,300 people, of which more than 60 percent will be children. The organizations estimate they will collectively require US$5 million to reach the 115,300 people in need until the end of 2017.

Proposed interventions include the following:

1. Deliver WASH assistance to affected populations. This will include creating access to safe water through construction and/or rehabilitation and upgrading of water sources; emergency water supply at crucial points, and sanitation interventions at schools and health facilities in crucial areas; and promoting hygiene and sanitation practices among drought-affected communities.

2. Provide technical, material and logistical support in the screening of malnourished children as well as pregnant and lactating women, treatment of severely and moderately acute malnutrition cases, and assurance of children’s and families’ access to care and proper nutrition support using integrated WASH, health and nutrition emergency response.

3. Support emergency school feeding, providing learning supplies and WASH for school-age boys and girls in priority woredas.

4. Provide emergency livestock feed for core breeding animals, animal health support (veterinary equipment and logistics support for emergency vaccination of livestock) and emergency seed.

5. Create child-friendly spaces; create awareness and increase knowledge and skills on child protection among affected communities, social workers, teachers, health workers, humanitarian workers, police and other service providers; identify, refer and respond to child protection cases in collaboration with concerned authorities; and provide material (medicines and treatment kits) and psychosocial support to survivors.

6. Supply emergency food assistance/general food rations to people facing critical food shortages.

For further information:

Bonar Bell, communications manager, CCFC | 416-898-6770 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:

Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has more than 50,000 children sponsored, and the organization works to improve the lives of more than 700,000 people around the world.