1 July 2016

SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia to Support Drought-Affected Families

Addis Ababa, July 1, 2016 – Ethiopia’s worst drought in decades has left at least 10.2 million people in urgent need of food aid. The El Niño-triggered drought is blamed for crop and livestock losses, shortages of drinking water, and food price volatility.
 
Children are particularly vulnerable: At least 6 million children in Ethiopia face severe food insecurity and lack safe drinking water, and the UN estimates that nearly 460,000 under age five need treatment for severe malnutrition. As many as 2.1 million of Ethiopia’s school-age youngsters are missing out on class time because of the drought, according to UNICEF.
 
Although seasonal rains have begun, the damage done by lost crops and livestock over the past year is expected to have prolonged impact. Recent heavy rainfall, while good news for farmers, has complicated relief and recovery operations.
 
Rural communities have been hit harder than cities. Even so, the impact of the crisis has not been entirely confined to rural areas. SOS Children’s Villages programs – mainly based in cities and towns - have been affected by food price volatility. A recent assessment suggests that spiralling food costs are having an impact on the organization’s family support programs and family based care.  
 
Funds collected in response to a humanitarian appeal launched by SOS Children’s Villages will support an emergency program that aims to reach more than 18,000 children and other vulnerable people in Eastern Hararghe zone. The program will provide:

 

  • Nutritional assistance for vulnerable children and women
  • Medical care for malnourished children, pregnant and nursing women
  • Bedding and cooking equipment for people in need
  • Water and sanitation services to vulnerable children, nursing mothers and pregnant women
  • Technical support, preparedness and training to improve living conditions for people
  • Child friendly spaces and temporary shelter for separated, lost or unaccompanied children
  • A household and community resilience building program in Eastern Hararghe
Since 1974, SOS Children’s Villages has been providing stable, loving homes to orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. In 2007, the organization added family support programs to help build community resilience. Today, SOS Children's Villages has more than 60 programs – including villages, kindergartens, youth facilities and medical centres - in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gode, Harar, Hawassa, Jimma and Makalle.