In addition to its major drought response in Kenya, CRWRC has agreed to expand its reach to two projects in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. These projects will be carried out in partnership with Food for the Hungry Ethiopia and will provide 4,334 households (21,668 people) with emergency food aid for five months.
This new $1.5 million expansion brings CRWRC’s total drought response in the East Africa region to $8.5 million. CRWRC is also exploring options to support emergency aid in Somalia despite security concerns that make traditional food distribution too dangerous. They hope to finalize details of this Somalia response later this week, which will bring its East Africa drought response programming to $9 million.
The Oromia Region of Ethiopia accounts for 1.9 million (41%) of the Ethiopians who are currently in desperate need of assistance. This is due to floods, droughts, and other weather-related hazards that have destroyed crops and contributed to sharp increases in food prices.
“Within Oromia, the Shashemene district is one of CRWRC’s priority areas,” said Wayne deJong, CRWRC Director of Disaster Response and Rehabilitation. “This is due to severe food shortages and high malnutrition rates in children under the age of five. People have started to cope by selling their livestock and charcoal, and by reducing the meals that they eat. The Adamitulu Jido Kombolcha Woreda in the East Shewa Zone of Oromia is another priority. Though the government started to provide food aid there, it has faced resource constraints and has reduced the size of the rations it provides and also the number of people who qualify for assistance.”
CRWRC will be providing maize, beans, vegetable oil and other food to 18,488 people in Shashemene. This includes nursing mothers, pregnant women, and 6,470 children under the age of five. In East Shewa, CRWRC will provide similar food rations to 3,180 people. These projects will be managed by Food for the Hungry Ethiopia.
“CRWRC has partnered with FH Ethiopia on numerous occasions in the past two decades,” said deJong. “They have been working in Ethiopia since 1985 and have existing programs in Oromia as well as other regions. We trust them to have the local connections and expertise we need to have effective and efficient food distributions. In addition to this current drought response, CRWRC is working with FH Ethiopia on a 3-year project in Zeway and South Gondor to improve the health and well-being of orphans and vulnerable children. This project has not been seriously threatened by the drought and will continue as planned.”
As with CRWRC’s other drought response programs, these Ethiopian program have been made possible through CRWRC’s membership in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. CRWRC is using some of its equity in CFGB and has also received $130,000 from other CFGB members towards its response in Ethiopia, and $275,000 for its response in Kenya. These funds are being matched 4:1 by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
In addition, CRWRC has received support from organizations in the US, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Australia. Individuals and churches have also been giving generously. Those who wish to contribute towards CRWRC’s work can do so at www.crwrc.org/eastafricadrought.
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