Drought Response: Nutrition, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
International Medical Corps works in Ethiopia to provide treatment for malnourished children and programs in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food and livelihood security and comprehensive healthcare. Through its livelihood interventions that support the nutrition program, International Medical Corps has provided emergency seed distribution for nearly 15,000 households and livelihood support for another 1,400 families.
Drought conditions have limited access to water in some regions, forcing residents—especially women and children—to travel longer distances for water, in some cases collecting from possibly contaminated sources, including rivers, ponds and springs. Growing needs for safe and potable water far exceed available resources. International Medical Corps has scaled up emergency response efforts in roughly half of the country’s 40 most affected districts, known as woredas. This support has included:
- Providing access to clean water, improving sanitation facilities and promoting safe hygiene practices
- Distribution of infant and young-child feeding information, education and communication materials
- Screening for, and treatment of, severe and moderate acute malnutrition, and training healthcare workers on severe acute malnutrition management and public health emergency management, including admission/discharge criteria, reporting and recording
- Providing logistical support to transport therapeutic foods, medications and other essential items to health centers and health posts
International Medical Corps is providing access to clean water, improving sanitation facilities and promoting safe hygiene practices. International Medical Corps’ WASH work focuses on strengthening healthcare and nutrition intervention services at the facility level by establishing a safe water supply and sanitation infrastructure. We also conduct regular hygiene awareness training, enabling communities to better understand the threat of communicable diarrheal and other hygiene-related diseases.
The WASH programming has served more than 440,000 people through infrastructure rehabilitation, water trucking, water treatment chemical distribution, and hygiene and sanitation. International Medical Corps has built 367 water points, providing safe drinking water.
International Medical Corps has also established standby teams that deploy to remote and hard-to-reach areas, providing much needed integrated WASH, nutrition and health assistance.