Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ethiopia Drought-4.3 million people at risk of starvation according to Concern

In parts of Ethiopia, right now, 4.3 million people are at risk of starvation because of a prolonged drought. Concern is trying to help thousands of children and their families by providing urgently-needed food and healthcare. 75000 are in need of emergency medical assistance.

Some parts of Ethiopia have had only three days rain since last September. A similar drought has also struck neighbouring Kenya and Somalia. The March rainfall was pitiful. Many areas got no rainfall in March. Because of crop failure food prices have rocketed as hunger stalks the land.

Many of the poorest people are so hungry that they have resorted to eating the seeds they would have planted before the next rains due in July . Some mothers have stopped eating altogether, so that their children wont starve.

Concern volunteers in Ethiopia have to make awful choices. Because there are not enough funds to treat everyone the aid workers must focus on children under five years old and turn away other sick children. They have to choose between life and death.

Concern needs to raise €6 million to to cover the cost of food, medicine, seeds and tools to keep families going until December when the next harvest is due.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia:

As well as the regions in Ethiopia affected by drought, similar conditions are beginning to take hold in neighbouring Somalia and Kenya too. To donate click here

Click on thumbnail images to enlarge:

Austin Keenan, regional director for the Horn of Africa, recently talked to Concern employees about the situation in Ethiopia. Austin had just returned from Ethiopia several days before. During the talk, he described exactly how serious the crisis is becoming, how families are being affected, and what Concern is doing to help.

To listen to the podcast please click on the player below.

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