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Concern responds to mounting Ethiopian crisis

The Ethiopian government yesterday appealed for more than $121 million to feed 6.2 million people at risk of hunger.

As drought and food shortages hit Ethiopia, Concern Worldwide is working with the government and other partners to provide emergency assistance.

Thousands of families

We are providing food to over 21,000 malnourished mothers and children in Amhara, SNNPR and Oromiya regions.

The number of children receiving treatment for severe malnutrition in these areas has risen. Concern staff are worried about the health of these children as the situation is expected to worsen in the coming months.

“As a result of drought, Concern staff have seen food availability for families decrease…and an increase in admissions in Concern supported feeding programmes”, according to Marianne Byrne, Concern’s Country Director for Ethiopia. 

Distributing seeds

In order to help farmers recover when the next rains come, Concern is planning to provide packages of seeds to households in the hardest hit areas. Due to erratic rains and crop failure, these communities are at risk of not having adequate seeds to plant in December, when the next rains are due.

Many families have already been forced to eat their reserve seed stock and sell their livestock.

Longer-term prevention

According to Austin Kennan of Concern: “The current drought emergency in the Horn of Africa is affecting millions of people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and elsewhere. Concern’s approach is to help meet the immediate needs of those most affected and at the same time engage in long term initiatives to reduce the vulnerability of people to droughts.”

Concern is focusing on rural irrigation, farming projects and improving local health systems, working closely with the government and other partners.