CRWRC is expanding its drought response efforts in Ethiopia. In 2011 the entire East African region experienced the lowest level of rainfall in 60 years. CRWRC responded with $10 million of programming, providing food and water to those in need as well as fodder and veterinary care for their livestock. For many, the situation began to improve after the long rains arrived. However, there are still several parts of Ethiopia – particularly in the mid and lowland areas - that have not received sufficient rains. These communities expect another season of crop failure.
People at a Food for the Hungry distribution site. While there have been sufficient rains for some grass to grow, many crops have failed, resulting in the need for emergency food.
CRWRC is responding. Through its partner Food for the Hungry Ethiopia (FHE), CRWRC is implementing three new food assistance projects with a total budget of $2.6 million. These projects will reach nearly 8,000 families - 40,000 people - for five months in the Benshangul and Oromia states. After July, the food security situation will be assessed and a decision will be made whether or not to continue the support.
These three new food assistance projects will be aimed at families and individuals who are unable to produce or purchase enough food to meet their daily caloric needs. Through CRWRC, they will receive cereal (sorghum or maize), pulses, vegetable oil, and supplementary food.
One third of these families are especially vulnerable. They may have a family member who is pregnant, breastfeeding, living with HIV/AIDS, or under the age of five. In addition to the regular food ration, these individuals will be given “famix.”
“Famix is a highly nutritious porridge provided to meet the specific nutritional needs of these individuals. It fights severe malnutrition, especially in children who need high levels of protein to grow.” says Wayne de Jong, Director of Disaster Response and Rehabilitation.
In addition to providing families with food assistance, CRWRC and FHE will also distribute hand tools and tree seedlings in order to improve long-term agriculture in the area. Participants and local government staff will also be trained in Natural Resource Management and Disaster Risk Reduction.
These projects are made possible through CRWRC’s equity in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB). Through CFGB, CRWRC is also receiving matching funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and contributions from CFGB members the United Church of Canada and Emergency Relief and Development Overseas of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.
“We are very grateful for this additional funding, which has allowed us to build on and expand our food assistance response in Ethiopia. Through this funding and our alliance with the CFGB, we are able to quickly obtain matching CIDA funds and meet the immediate food needs of people until the arrival of the long rains, which will help the crops grow and provide food for these families.” says de Jong.