25 January 2016

SOS Children’s Villages makes preparations in drought-hit Ethiopia

Updated: January 25, 2016

ADDIS ABABA , Ethiopia — SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia is closely monitoring a drought that threatens to leave more than 2.1 million children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers, without sufficient nutrition this year.
SOS families in Ethiopia have so far not been affected by the drought, but it is not clear how long the situation will remain manageable.
According to the United Nations, the El Niño weather phenomenon disrupted seasonal rains in Ethiopia last year and the most severe effects will be felt in the months ahead.

An estimated 10 million people in Ethiopia are expected to receive food aid in 2016, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports. The agency estimates that 435,000 children under five, and another 1.7 million young people, pregnant and nursing mothers, are at risk of being malnourished.

SOS Children's Villages started its activities in Ethiopia against the background of a disastrous drought that had hit the country in 1974. Today we operate in Jimma, Addis Ababa, Harar, Hawassa, Gode, Bahir Dar and Makale.

The country of more than 90 million people is prone to crop and livestock disasters. Ethiopia experienced a severe famine from 1983 to 1985 that killed upwards of 1 million people. A Horn of Africa drought in 2011-2012 affected 4.6 million people in Ethiopia, 4 million in Somalia, 3.8 million in Kenya and 180,000 in Djibouti, according to UN relief agencies.