This project will help: 43,531 households
Completion date: April 2024
Executive summaryMany families in the southern and eastern regions of Ethiopia are facing a food crisis due to a severe and prolonged drought. Compassion’s frontline church partners serving children and youth in these regions have reported that many families have lost all their crops and have been unable to plant new seeds. Although in some communities most caregivers previously earned a living through small-scale farming, now unable to plant and grow crops or care for livestock, many had to find work in construction or as day labourers. Sadly, these jobs have proved unreliable, leaving caregivers struggling to provide even one meal per day for their families. Children growing up in communities affected by drought are prone to severe food insecurity. UNICEF reports that 39 per cent of children living in Ethiopia experience stunting—impaired growth that is a direct result of chronic malnutrition. Without access to regular, nutritious meals, children’s well-being and lives are at risk. Our church partners living in drought-affected parts of the country have noticed that children have been missing more program days and have been unable to regularly attend school due to hunger. Children and youth in these communities simply do not have the energy to play with their friends or concentrate on their studies. Because many caregivers have been unable to earn a reliable income, some children have been forced to work to help their families. Our frontline church partners in Ethiopia have been doing everything they can to support families. Some have been providing children with meals at least once per day at the centre, but with little resources and a limited budget, this is not a sustainable solution. Our church partners know how important it is for growing children and youth to have access to regular, nutritious meals at home and want to provide emergency support for families experiencing food insecurity. With your support, 190 of Compassion’s frontline church partners in Ethiopia will provide 43,531 households with emergency food kits. Families will receive packs once per month for three months. The food kits will contain fortified foods such as cereal, wheat and fortified oil. Packs will include enough food for caregivers to provide their families with three meals per day, easing the burden of growing or purchasing food for caregivers as they work to regain their livelihoods.
BackgroundEthiopia is facing a severe and prolonged drought due to lack of rain during the last five rainy seasons. The drought has most severely impacted the southern and eastern regions of the country. Many families living in these communities rely on growing crops and raising animals to earn an income, but lack of rain has had a devastating impact on their livelihoods. At the end of 2022, it was reported that families in the Borena zone of southern Ethiopia lost 46 per cent of their livestock, marking the equivalent loss of approximately US$350,000. The World Food Programme has called this drought the worst in recent history. More than 24 million people have been impacted by the drought, experiencing inadequate access to clean water, nutritious food and reliable sources of income. Of those affected by the drought, 11.8 million desperately require emergency food relief, 23 per cent of whom are children under the age of five and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Although the area does occasionally see rain, it is often so heavy that it ruins and sweeps away crops, causing more harm than good.
The needChildren, youth and families in the eastern and southern regions of Ethiopia need immediate access to nutritious food. Without food relief, children impacted by the severe drought will continue to be at risk of malnutrition and its many—and often deadly—consequences. Your gift will allow 190 church partners serving families in Ethiopia to distribute food packs to 43,531 households, having a profound impact on thousands of lives. This widescale emergency relief initiative will ensure that caregivers have access to fortified food that they can use to cook nutritious meals for their children three times per day. Families will receive food once per month for three months, relieving caregivers from the burden of spending their limited earnings on food. With your gift, caregivers will be able to make it through the dry season and put their resources towards recovering their livelihoods.
What your gift will doYour gift will provide 43,531 households in the eastern and southern regions of Ethiopia with emergency food relief, including:
- 35 kilograms of cereal and wheat flour per family for 3 months
- 2 litres of fortified food oil per family for 3 months
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Local contribution: Since this is a disaster relief intervention, no contribution is required.
- Handling of funds: Compassion Ethiopia will ensure this project stays within budget.
- Monitoring and follow-up: Local church partners will establish task forces to collaborate with other church partners in the area. The Senior Program Support Specialist and Disaster Preparedness Prevention and Response Specialist will train centre staff and task forces in how to purchase and/or distribute the food packs. Compassion Ethiopia will use cash transfers, coupons or food distribution, depending on the context and availability of food in the local markets. They will also advise local church partners on methodologies to collect and report on intervention progress. Complementary Intervention Specialists will visit the church partners to ensure proper distribution of food items.