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L3R 8G6

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Hope in times of despair

A reflection on the food insecurity issue in Ethiopia

By Mark Lukowski
CEO, CCFC

Driving through the Oromia Region, while visiting Ethiopia recently, I often choked on the dust that filled the air — you could see it on the horizon, which was dotted with scraggly, dying trees. At one stop, beneficiaries gathered to pick up their monthly ration of millet and oil. It was clear the recipients were grateful to receive this food from the government of Ethiopia.

The land is bone dry, and a much-needed harvest isn’t expected anytime soon. The conditions are harsh, but the human spirit is a beautiful thing. Children in the area are happy, despite running around with feet permanently caked with dust and mud.

I reflected on those hardworking, grateful people and their children today. I feel lucky to live in Canada; I woke up and had a hot shower — refreshed and ready to start my day. Stepping outside the air was clean, and although the winter-bitten trees are bare, they are healthy and will reawaken with new leaves in the spring.

Thankfully, there is much being done to address concerns in Ethiopia. For its part, CCFC distributed wheat, pulses and cooking oil to 2,500 affected community members and is supporting 240 children through a school feeding program. As we speak, it’s becoming more apparent that sufficient resources are not yet available to help the 10.2-million people affected by the disaster, despite efforts from the government, donors and other NGOs. This requires further action to save lives. CCFC is monitoring the situation and how it’s affecting our communities.

Photo by Philip Maher