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Ethiopia food crisis

A boy watching a man who is ploughing with oxen
© CBM/Hayduk
Bezeye watches his father farm in West Belessa district, Ethiopia. Bezeye (who is deaf) and his classmates receive a daily meal thanks to a CBM-funded program at his school. "I thank God for the donors who provide this service. I ask God to bless them," says his mother, Enaney.

CBM responding to the 2016 Ethiopia food crisis, with local partner, to address immediate needs and build resilience of local communities, including people who are most at-risk.

10 million requiring food assistance

Terracing on hills, dry and parched ©CBM/Hayduk
Terracing on the hills in East Belessa
Much of Ethiopia is experiencing severe drought conditions, excacerbated by El Niño which greatly affected the 2015 spring and summer rains¹. This has led to a food crisis, with delayed planting, poor germination and crop stunting along with poor pasture regeneration and poor livestock productivity.

Although parts of the country have received rains - and even localised flooding - in 2016, more than 10 million people require food assistance, with more than 450,000 described as severely malnourished².

Inclusive response

a view of two hands, holding cereal seeds ©CBM/Hayduk
Seeds are examined at a storehouse in East Belessa district, Ethiopia in May 2016 - CBM is supporting inclusive seed distribution to thousands of farmers in the area
CBM, with partner ‘Organisation for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara’ (ORDA), is responding to this need by working in Amhara Region to improve the living condition of communities affected by the drought.

In our work, we aim to ensure that:
  • The resilience of the people who are most at-risk in communities is increased by increasing their agricultural production levels and promoting inclusive income-generating activities (these people include female-headed households and persons with disabilities)
  • School dropout rates are reduced through disability-inclusive school feeding programs
  • Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), capacity building and advocacy towards local authorities are fostered in the targeted areas

Providing school students with food

three boys smiling and eating porridge ©CBM/Hayduk
Adnew (centre) eats a lunch of porridge at a CBM-supported school feeding program in East Belessa, Ethiopia
In the target areas, we aimed to include more than 21,000 students in school feeding, although initial figures show that nearly 24,000 are already being reached.

This work has greatly reduced school dropout rates and is motivating the students. Parents are also happy:

"Because of the drought many of us don't have enough food at home to provide three meals a day, so we benefit from the school feeding ... because now, when Adnew comes home he says he is full and not hungry. I also help the school and children by making sure the food is cooked well." Woynitu, Adnew's grandmother.

Construction of water harvesting structures

Description of the drought conditions in Ethiopia, 2016, and the work that CBM and partner ‘Organisation for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara’ (ORDA), are doing to build and restore water harvesting facilities.

We have started work, selecting sites and commencing excavation, that will lead to new and rehabilitated community ponds, canals, and small dams.

Improvement and desilting of these structures will not only ensure that rainwater is stored and accessible when the rains come, but in the meantime, as this is a 'cash-for-work' scheme, it is injecting much-needed funds into the affected communities.
¹ UN OCHA (Humanitarian bulletin June 2016)
² UN OCHA (Humanitarian snapshot May 2016)

More reading

Humanitarian Action

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response



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