We must act now to save lives in Ethiopia.drought

A newly released report by the Government of Ethiopia shows that another poor rainy season has pushed 700,000 more people into crippling hunger and on the verge of starvation. People are quickly running out of food, and some areas have not received any food distributions since May.

“Lives are   literally on the line,”  said Kumar

“A deadly mix of severe acute malnutrition coupled with acute watery diarrhea could put thousands of lives at risk, particularly the elderly and children,” said Manish Kumar, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Program Manager in Ethiopia. “Families have been separated as men and boys travel for longer to look for water and pasture, leaving women and children often vulnerable and at risk of violence.”

The next rains will not be until October, and people cannot wait months for any reprieve. We need to act now to prevent this crisis from turning into a catastrophe.

The Ethiopian government has provided emergency food aid to communities, but the scale of the need is overwhelming and rising. Of the $1.25 billion needed from the international community to provide food, water, and other life-saving assistance, 39% has yet to be funded.

“Lives are literally on the line,” said Kumar. “The international community needs to step up their efforts and fully fund the humanitarian appeal so that people can get the help they need. They must also support recovery and development programs that help communities to rebuild their livelihoods and resilience to future droughts.”

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