CAFOD launches £3m appeal as hunger starts to hit Ethiopia
Catholic aid charity CAFOD has launched an emergency appeal to help millions of people facing hunger in Ethiopia.
CAFOD is appealing for £3 million, as more than 10.2 million people across the country are in dire need of food, clean water and basic sanitation.
“Ethiopia faces a food shortage that has left millions without enough food to survive the months ahead,” said Patricia Wall, CAFOD’s country representative in Ethiopia.
“The funding will allow us to escalate our on-going emergency response with local partners, who are already on the frontline getting assistance to where it is needed most.”
The devastating food shortage has been caused by two failed rainy seasons that have led to a severe drought, fuelled by one of the strongest El Niño weather patterns recorded.
CAFOD’s local partners have been responding to the crisis since last year, reaching people with emergency food assistance and clean water. The £3 million will allow CAFOD to scale up its current emergency response work across four of the worst affected areas: SNNPR Region State, Oromia Regional State, Tigray and Afar Regional States.
“The infrastructure is in place and we are working with the full support of the Ethiopian government,” said Ms Wall, “but without the funding we can only reach a fraction of those who need help.”
The epicentre of the drought has hit some of the poorest people in the country, agro-pastoralists, farming and pastoralist communities – these families rely heavily on subsistence farming and livestock. The two failed rainy seasons supply over 80 per cent of Ethiopia’s agricultural crops. The lack of a harvest this year has exhausted people’s ability to cope and they have simply run out of options for feeding their families and animals.
One Ethiopian woman who has been supported by CAFOD is Herit, who lives in the village of Arato, just outside of Mekelle, in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. CAFOD’s local Church partner, ADCS Mekelle, provides her with a direct cash transfer, allowing her to buy a family food basket in the local market. Without it her options would be desperately bleak.
“If I did not get this assistance, I and my children would be dead here. Because I have been able to buy food, my children are living and we are surviving.”
Ethiopia’s long rains are due in a month’s time, and CAFOD is supporting farmers with seeds as they prepare their land. But even if normal rainfall occurs, it will take time for people to harvest their crops and replenish their livestock, leaving a deepening ‘hunger gap’.
“People have already lost everything, and have no reserves left. These will be critical months as people wait to see if they will have a harvest”, Ms Wall said.
She thanked the Catholic community of England and Wales for their generosity and compassion saying, “Ordinary men, women and children in England and Wales are out working, supporting, fundraising, praying for the communities in Ethiopia. Because of this, we will be able to get more emergency aid to our partners quickly.
“They understand the communities they serve, and will be reaching the most vulnerable families.”
Support this appeal by donating on line at: cafod.org.uk/ethiopia or by calling CAFOD’s donation line on: 0500 85 88 85.
Picture: Herit has been supported with food parcels from CAFOD’s local aid partner, and it is hoped next month’s rains will lead to a better harvest for her and her familyTags: appeal, CAFOD, catholic, charity, Ethiopia, hunger